Surrey council on the brink of declaring a major incident

Surrey council on the brink of declaring a major incident
Surrey council on the brink of declaring a major incident

Surrey Council is considering declaring a 'major incident' to give critical public workers exclusive access to certain petrol stations under a government plan to control the fuel crisis.

Under the Designated Filling Station Scheme, only marked emergency service or NHS vehicles would be allowed to use the designated filling sites. Any vital public staff without a marked car could get a sticker through what officials call the Temporary Logo Scheme.

Other measures in Cabinet Office emergency planning documents have already been enacted, including suspending competition law so fuel distributors can share data to prioritise sites most at need, and allowing drivers to work longer hours. Officials have also begun training soldiers to drive tankers.

Surrey County Council is considering prioritising emergency workers independently of central government by declaring a 'major incident'.

This is defined as an event that is 'beyond the scope of business-as-usual operations, and is likely to involve serious harm, damage, disruption or risk to human life or welfare, essential services, the environment or national security'.

Declaring a major incident leads to the creation of a local Strategic Coordinating Group - which temporary brings police, fire and NHS services under a single command structure to allow emergency services to coordinate and make quicker decisions.

Surrey County Council is considering prioritising emergency workers independently of central government by declaring a 'major incident'. Pictured: A Shell station in Farnham, Surrey

Surrey County Council is considering prioritising emergency workers independently of central government by declaring a 'major incident'. Pictured: A Shell station in Farnham, Surrey 

Last night, Surrey County Council's Conservative leader Tim Oliver said the option of announcing a major incident was being considered by the local resilience forum, which includes the local NHS and police.

Today, he announced officials had not yet decided to take the emergency measure.

'Surrey has not declared a major incident but like the rest of the country is facing significant disruption to fuel supplies,' he said.

'In keeping with its business continuity arrangements, the Surrey Local Resilience Forum on Monday to discuss the ongoing fuel supply challenges across the County. This is a significant incident that requires coordination with all our partners. 

'We continue to monitor the situation closely and will work together to ensure vital public services can continue to be delivered.

'We would ask that residents please remain calm and resist any urge to stockpile fuel. When purchasing fuel, please consider not filling your tank but instead limiting how much you purchase, and of course wherever possible leave your car at home at walk, cycle or use public transport.'

Teaching unions are demanding their members are also prioritised for fuel under any emergency plan.  

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps last night announced that army tanker drivers were being put on standby

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps last night announced that army tanker drivers were being put on standby

Dr Patrick Roach, general secretary of NASUWT, said fuel shortages are expected to cause 'serious difficulties' for education provision.

He said: 'Following many months of disruption, it is now of the utmost priority that the Government takes steps to ensure that schools and colleges remain open and that teachers and education support staff are able to get to work.

'For many teachers, the

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