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Wigan town centre event showcases ‘community resilience’ – and how you can play your part
Wednesday 28th August, 2013

Anyone strolling through Wigan town centre on Friday 30th August may be surprised to find themselves face to face with police vans and traffic patrols, a 15 foot-long army gun, fire engines, a gritter truck, ambulances and even a rescue boat. But, there’s no need to panic, as all are taking part in a Wigan Council event showcasing the different agencies involved in making Wigan Borough safe and secure for residents.

The event is the culmination of ‘Community Resilience Week’, a council-led initiative designed to encourage residents to think about emergencies, and what simple steps they can take to ensure that they are prepared for the worst. The aim is to help people and businesses across Wigan Borough become better equipped to deal with emergency situations, while raising awareness of the different bodies who work together to look after the public whenever problems arise.

Organisations including Greater Manchester Police, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, the Army, North West Ambulance Service, Environment Agency, United Utilities, Electricity North West, Search and Rescue Dog Association, RSPCA and the Red Cross will join colleagues from Wigan Council throughout the pedestrian area in the town centre, between 10am and 4pm.

Displays will include: a Wigan Council gritter truck and waste trailer, public health information; GMP van and traffic car; GMFRS fire appliance and urban search and rescue dogs; Army gun; Environment Agency Land Rover, trailer and rescue boat; North West 4x4 Response vehicle; NWAS CPR exhibition; Wigan Infirmary decontamination unit; Red Cross ambulance.

Residents will be able to find out more about what each of the public services does, and have a chat with the organisations about how they can protect themselves, their families and their homes in the event of a variety of emergencies.

Cllr Terry Halliwell, Wigan Council Cabinet member for corporate resources, said: “Community resilience is about communities using local resources and knowledge to help themselves, and each other, in a way that complements our local public services. In many cases, foresight, common-sense and good planning can ensure residents are equipped to cope with, or can at least minimise the impact of, some of the adversities that might come their way, for example, flooding, heavy snowfall or a major fire or explosion which results in homes being evacuated.”

Being prepared, and working together to respond to an emergency will make the response more effective, can help people recover more quickly and makes the community even stronger going forward. There are lots of examples of how successful community resilience can be, and illustrates why many communities are already engaged in this planning.

If you are an individual or member of an already established community group and you would like further information on what you or your group can do to develop a Community Emergency Plan, or Family Emergency Plan go to: www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/content/community-resilience or e-mail the council’s Civil Contingencies Service at civilcon@wigan.gov.uk

You can also find out more at www.wigan.gov.uk

The event runs from 10am to 4pm throughout Wigan town centre's pedestrian zone.

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