Worrying news about the arrest of a terror suspect and a controlled explosion in Bristol today; not my constituency, but I received a call from a police inspector this morning, telling me what efforts had been made to keep local community representatives informed. Bristol City Council have issued the following press release:
Council acts quickly to help residents during police operation
City Council leader Cllr Helen Holland today praised council staff who stepped in to assist residents affected by a major police operation in the Eastfield area of North Bristol late last night. Eleven homes in Comb Paddock were evacuated at around midnight as a safety precaution after police raided a nearby house and arrested a 19-year-old man.
Working closely with the police, the city council speedily put parts of its Civil Contingencies plan into operation and opened an emergency reception centre at Badocks Wood Primary School in Doncaster Road. They were assisted by school caretaker Neil Varlow and two volunteers from the WRVS. Two elderly disabled women, both wheelchair users; four men and six other women were taken to the rest centre. There they were given a friendly welcome, hot drinks and a comfortable place to sit and rest before being taken by taxi to city centre hotels overnight. A number of other residents whose homes were evacuated chose to stay with friends and relatives.
Cllr Holland said: "I'd like to thank the council employees and WRVS volunteers who worked through to the early hours of the morning to ensure that these local people were supported and cared for in what must have been a confusing and distressing situation. This incident demonstrates that the city council has a tried and tested Civil Contingency Plan, which puts the care of people in need first during any crisis. It also shows what a strong, effective relationship the council has with the police and how the two organisations work effectively in partnership to ensure our city is a safer and healthier place."