Village shop signs up to emergency response plan

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LONGHORSLEY’S village shop has led the way in a new scheme to support communities in the event of an emergency.

Following a call from Northumberland County Council’s Civil Contingencies Team for local stores to consider becoming designated suppliers for rest centres, Sandwiches @ Millars became the first to sign up to the 2012 database.

The shop, which is also a general dealer and newsagent, has since been joined by village stores in Kielder and Felton, an independent Co-op in Allenheads and the Co-op in Bellingham.

Rest centres are used in the event of evacuations during major incidents to provide a safe haven for those people affected.

One of the main considerations in the first few hours is the provision of food and drinks to those sheltering in the centres. The availability of a village store to provide supplies is important, especially in a county the size of Northumberland where 24-hour supermarkets are few and far between.

County Executive Member for Public Protection Anita Romer said: “We are very grateful to all the businesses that have signed up to this register to make their stock available in the event of an emergency.

“Jan and Ian Millar from Longhorsley led the charge and we thank them and the four other shops who are taking part in the scheme.

“It is crucial that we work with the community and local businesses to ensure that we can provide the best emergency response in the event of flooding, heavy snowfall and any other incident that may occur in the future.”

Although no advance payments can be made, any supplies acquired from village shops that are used in the rest centres will be reimbursed by the authority.

For more information about the scheme, call Civil Contingencies Officer Nigel Fisher on 01670 591208 or e-mail nigel.fisher@northumberland.gcsx.gov.uk