September 20 2014 Latest news:
Saturday, May 31, 2014
A task force has been appointed to start work on drawing up an emergency plan for Felixstowe to deal with natural and man-made disasters that cause widespread problems for residents.
Town councillors agreed the blueprint should not just tackle the most obvious threat to the resort – that of flooding caused by incidents such as last December’s storm surge – but also other major incidents, such as a town-wide power black-out.
Low-lying parts of the town had to be evacuated during the storm, the same area affected a few years previously when a large war-time bomb was washed up on the beach.
Councillor Kimberley Williams said: “I feel very strongly that the council should be involved in and have our own emergency procedures for Felixstowe and work in partnership and collaboration with Suffolk Coastal council and their arrangements.
“We have a population of 30,000 people and it would be quite negligent of us to quite simply devolve responsibility and rely on Suffolk Coastal to undertake emergency procedures for us.”
Councillor Michael Sharman said there were many potential dangers, especially with the variety of cargoes, including fireworks, carried by lorries visiting the Port of Felixstowe, while councillor Mike Stokell pointed out that the town was overflown by hundreds of aircraft every day.
Councillor Andy Smith stressed it would be important to work within the existing procedures.
He said: “We need to look at the whole picture of what we have.”
Councillors Chris Slemmings, Andy Smith, Cyril Webb, Margaret Morris and Kimberley Williams will form the working party to draw up the plan.