News

Waltham Forest leaving tri-borough emergency service

The council will no longer pool resources with its neighbours when responding to emergencies
By Local Democracy Reporter Josh Mellor

Waltham Forest is leaving an emergency planning partnership with two neighbouring boroughs to avoid having to “compete” for resources during major incidents.

Last week (13th January), the council’s cabinet voted to leave a tri-borough emergency planning service it has shared with Redbridge and Barking & Dagenham since 2017.

The council believes its own recently completed £1million “state of the art” 24/7 CCTV control centre will bring an “improved and enhanced approach” to managing a wider range of critical incidents “not within the scope” of the current agreement, which runs until August this year.

According to a report before Waltham Forest’s cabinet: “Most London boroughs currently have in-house services for their civil contingencies. 

“This means that it is not necessary for boroughs to compete for emergency planning resources where the impact of a major incident spans several boroughs.”

At the tri-borough partnership’s “natural end” the £150,000 budget will be brought in-house to “strengthen the skills and capacity of [our] operation centre staff to deliver this key function on a cost-neutral basis,” the report adds.


This story is published by Waltham Forest Echo, Waltham Forest's free monthly newspaper and free news website. We are a not-for-profit publication, published by a small social enterprise. We have no rich backers and rely on the support of our readers. Donate or become a supporter.


Council leader Grace Williams said: “We have times when we do have to prepare for critical incidents, such as when we’ve had floods recently.

“We need to learn from experiences when we need to move towards a more local response, using our own control centre and giving that response that residents expect, I think this is an important step.”

Until August, the service will continue to be based at Barking & Dagenham.

A Redbridge Council spokesperson said: “The partnership has served all three boroughs well throughout what has been an extremely challenging time in light of the ongoing pandemic and other unforeseen emergencies such as the flash flooding incidents that hit parts of London in July 2021.  

“Work is already underway at Redbridge to review our current emergency planning arrangements and a report setting out a number of options for the future of the borough’s emergency planning function will be presented to our management team in early spring. 

“The current arrangements continue to serve the borough well in its preparedness for an emergency.”

A Barking and Dagenham spokesperson said they were “unable” to comment.


No news is bad news 

Independent news outlets like ours – reporting for the community without rich backers – are under threat of closure, turning British towns into news deserts. 

The audiences they serve know less, understand less, and can do less. 

In celebration of Indie News Week, Public Interest News Foundation's Indie News Fund will match fund all donations, including new annual supporter subscriptions for the month of June.

If our coverage has helped you understand our community a little bit better, please consider supporting us with a monthly, yearly or one-off donation. 

Choose the news. Don’t lose the news.

Monthly direct debit 

Annual direct debit

£5 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else, £10 per month supporters get a digital copy of each month’s paper before anyone else and a print copy posted to them each month.  £50 annual supporters get a digital copy of each month's paper before anyone else.

Donate now with Pay Pal

More information on supporting us monthly or annually 

More Information about donations

Tags