Emergency plan for Whitby

A PLAN in the event of a major incident happening in Whitby is to be drawn up.

At a meeting of Whitby Town Council, councillors voted to form a committee to look at producing an emergency plan for incidents such as flooding, a major landslide or pandemic flu.

The move followed a presentation by Matthew Robinson, emergency planning officer at North Yorkshire County Council, who spoke about the benefits of a Community Resilience Scheme which is entirely voluntary for parish councils to take part in.

The scheme would see a detailed plan drawn up by members as to how they would work with the community and the emergency services.

At the meeting, Coun Carson likened Whitby to the village of Boscastle in Cornwall which suffered extensive damage after flash floods back in 2004.

“Whitby is actually the same as Boscastle Harbour only 100 times bigger,” he said.

“We are a giant Boscastle Harbour waiting to happen.”

Mr Robinson said that there was a “little bit” of difference between Boscastle as the River Esk has an early warning system in place which alerts people when the river floods.

Deputy mayor Coun Heather Coughlan added: “We discussed this quite a long time ago. The feeling was if the East Pier went, the river would come up the harbour with water coming into the town taking out Church Street and the bridge and we would need emergency services in two sides - one for the east side of town and one for the west. This is something we ought to be getting on to.”

Councillors all agreed to form a working group to make a plan for Whitby.