1. Purpose
  2. Scope
  3. Objectives
  4. Roles & Responsibilities
  5. Incident Procedure
  6. Communication
  7. Emergency Plans
  8. Review
  9. Alternative Formats
  10. Freedom of Information

1. Purpose

1.1 Callington Town Council recognises the importance of producing and maintaining a Business Continuity Plan for implementation in the event of disruptions to the day to day running of the Council by whatever cause.

1.2 There is a responsibility on the Council to maintain key business systems and services, including the management of cemeteries, parks and open spaces, administrative services, council reception and therefore it is recommended good practice to adopt a Business Continuity Plan.

1.3 The purpose of this plan is to:

  • i. provide a framework for maintaining the Council services in the event of serious disruption;
  • ii. ensure the welfare, safety and security of the staff, their environment and members of the public who use those services; and
  • iii. provide a flexible framework for the overall response.

2. Scope

2.1 This plan identifies the instances of disruption, the immediate responses, the procedures to follow to maintain continuity of service, follow up procedures and necessary changes to service delivery, where such services are disrupted by factors within the Council’s area of responsibility.

2.2 The annexe attached to this policy document sets out potential events, how their effects can be minimised, immediate actions to be taken and how these risks can be reduced in the longer term. It is by no means an exhaustive list as it is difficult to predict all potential events and risks.

3. Objectives

3.1 The main objectives are to:

  • i. minimise the risk of disruption to Council services through careful planning;
  • ii. respond effectively in an emergency;
  • iii. outline the control arrangements for responding to an incident or emergency; and
  • iv. communicate with staff, suppliers and the public during an emergency and, where appropriate, advise the public of risks.

3.2 The plan must cover all areas of the Council’s business, including issues for:

  • i. Staff – operational issues i.e., to ensure their ability to undertake their day-to-day duties; and
  • ii. Council – to ensure statutory responsibilities are met and services are provided with minimal disruption, stakeholders are kept informed and details/updates are well communicated.

3.3 The plan should cover:

  • i. Potential causes – albeit difficult to predict;
  • ii. Impact;
  • iii. The reasons and timing/why they occur;
  • iv. Identify the cause to help prevent or reduce the risk of an incident;
  • v. Identify ways to save resources in the longer term;
  • vi. Reduce the impact of an incident;
  • vii. Plan for the prompt recovery of key services or systems;
  • viii. Assessment – consider impact at all levels of incident;
  • ix. short to long term implications;
  • x. small scale or major incident

4. Roles & Responsibilities

4.1 It is the responsibility of the Council, through the Risk Management Working Party and Town Clerk to ensure the Business Continuity Plan is in place. The plan should be presented to Council for approval and adoption and thereafter subsequent progress updates should be reported to the Risk Management Working Party.

4.2 In the event of an incident, staff should ensure full details are recorded and, where applicable, photographed as evidence in the event of a loss claim.

5. Incident Procedure

5.1 Responsibility for overall co-ordination and ensuring recovery lies with the Town Clerk, albeit with delegated responsibility being given to other officers to expedite speedy recovery.

5.2 To facilitate this, all incidents should be reported to the Town Clerk in the first instance. The Town Clerk will then liaise with the mayor and other officers to implement the operational issues.

6. Communication

6.1 Communication is critical to a successful recovery of services or systems to ensure everyone is aware and to avoid duplication of resources. A cascade approach to communication within the staff structure will assist in effectively communicating information in a timely manner. The following system must therefore be adopted:

  • i. Clear instructions are provided to all staff upon discovering an incident or receiving a malicious threat, the following steps may include:
  • ii. making a quick assessment or judgement;
  • iii. follow the guidelines i.e., malicious threat–bomb warning;
  • iv. follows any emergency service guidelines i.e., fire (evacuate), smell gas (Turn off supply);
  • v. Contact the emergency services;
  • vi. contacts the Town Clerk or nominated individual who will then take control of the situation, unless the emergency services are involved;
  • vii. Under no circumstances should staff or others be put at risk.
  • viii. All staff are briefed and made aware of what actions have or will be taken, preferably at one large group meeting so that any questions or issues are discussed collectively;
  • ix. The Mayor & Deputy Mayor are briefed by telephone and all other Councillors are emailed regarding the issues and what actions have or will be taken and any requirement to use their support;
  • x. Adequate resources are input to assist the recovery of the service;
  • xi. Constant reviews of the situation are undertaken, through regular updates and officers, Councillors and customers are kept updated and informed;
  • xii. Staff and Councillors Officers are utilised effectively and efficiently, particularly in the event of providing cover, to expedite a prompt return to normal service;
  • xiii. Adequate checks are carried out when the services and systems are recovered, in particular when systems are restored from back-up records, so that they are fully restored, reinstated and operating correctly;
  • xiv. All details i.e., resources, additional costs etc. are recorded and, where applicable, photographed and any loss claim submitted; and
  • xv. Regular training sessions are undertaken for all officers on their roles and responsibilities, emergency procedures and the use of emergency equipment.

7. Emergency Plans

7.1 The Business Continuity Plan is intended as an internal document for use when there is an incident with a Town Council service or system.

In the event of a serious emergency, the ‘blue light’ emergency services will generally be involved and they will take control of the incident. They will liaise with and inform the CTC team.

7.2 In the event of all other major emergencies affecting all or part of the Callington area i.e. flooding, traffic etc., and the co-ordination will fall within the Cornwall Council Emergency Plans. Full details and contact numbers can be found at Emergency plan – Cornwall Council

These authorities will take control of the incident and inform CTC who will be part of the support by contributing to and providing assistance.

7.3 To undertake a full debrief and learning from the incident and to inform the Risk Management Committee as appropriate

8. Review

8.1 This policy will be reviewed every four years (or earlier if required by changes to legislation or additional documentation) and amended as necessary based on good practice or evidence taken forward.

9. Alternative Formats

9.1 The Equality Act 2010 – copies of this document in large print (A3 Format) or larger font size, or recorded onto tape as a ‘talking book’ can be made available for those with sight impairment on request from the Council Office or by telephoning 01579 384039 or e-mailing

9.2 The Council can also arrange to provide versions in other languages for staff whose first language is not English.

10. Freedom of Information

10.1 In accordance with the Freedom of Information Act 2000, this document will be posted on the Council’s Website and copies of this document will be available for inspection on deposit in the Council Office.


Potential Event/Risk Actions to minimise impact Immediate actions to be taken Continuity Long Term Objectives
Damage to Council Offices Carry out regular checks and fire risk assessments

Maintain adequate insurance cover

Record all information and inform insurance company of any incident and obtain photographic evidence.

Town Clerk to advice Council and staff of incident.

If necessary, relocate to alternative premises or admin team may work from home, if possible.

Diver telephone calls  as appropriate and advise public of alternative arrangements for accessing services.

Review risk assessment.
Loss of Council documents due to fire, flood, theft or other causes. To operate a clear desk policy.

Ensure important documentation is stored securely in fire/flood proof cabinets.

Ensure backup copies of paper documents i.e. electronic version or photocopy stored at an alternative location.

Town Clerk to advise Council and staff of incident.

Inform Police and insurance company (if necessary)

If appropriate, consider security controls i.e. change of locks/passwords.

Council to consider incident and associated control measures at next Full Council Meeting.

Instigate use of backup files or stored copies.

Review procedures to ensure any improvements are implemented where necessary.
Loss of Council electronic data due to fault, damage, corruption, hardware failure or hacking attack. Ensure antivirus software is up to date.

Ensure passwords are robust and regularly updated.

Ensure data is regularly backed up and stored securely.

Implement Data Breach Management Procedure where necessary.

Town Clerk to advise Council and Staff of incident.

Inform insurance company (if necessary)

Update security as required

Instigate use of backups Review procedures to ensure any improvements are implemented where necessary.
Loss of Council equipment due to fault, damage, breakdown or theft. Maintain adequate insurance cover.

Ensure regular maintenance and checks of equipment are carried out.

Regularly review security arrangements.

Report theft or criminal damage to Police.

Inform Insurance company if necessary.

Arrange hire of temporary replacement equipment where possible.

Arrange purchase of new equipment.

Review risk assessments, maintenance schedules and security.
Loss of Town Clerk due to resignation, incapacity, long term illness or death. Ensure staffing team are briefed, made aware of interim measures and aware of their responsibilities.

Ensure all key tasks are prioritised.

Access to log in details, keys and passwords are made available as necessary.

Mayor to contact next of kin.

Mayor to be informed, who will advise Council and staff.

Mayor and chair of FGP to consider appointment of temporary cover.

Recruit temporary replacement.

Carry out recruitment process to appoint permanent Town Clerk.

Review procedures to ensure minimal impact from loss.
Serious injury or death to member of staff whilst carrying out council duties. Ensure all staff are appropriately trained and are familiar with all duties in line with Health and Safety regulations and best practice.

Ensure tasks for each member of staff are clearly documented and they are aware of the staff structure i.e. for querying matters with their Line Manager.

Inform Town Clerk, who will advise Council.

Town Clerk to contact HSE and advise all known details.

Town Clerk to inform  insurance company.

Town Clerk to advise all members of staff.

Line Manager to make assessment of practices and, if appropriate, make interim arrangements for duties to be covered.

Assess the situation which has arisen and ensure all Health and Safety issues have been addressed.

Seek temporary cover.

Commence recruitment process to employ a replacement member of staff.

Review procedures to ensure any improvements are implemented where necessary.
Prolonged absence, dismissal or resignation of staff. Ensure tasks for each member of staff are clearly documented and they are aware of the staff structure i.e. for querying matters with their Line Manager. Town Clerk to ensure the correct legal procedures are followed.

Line Manager to make interim arrangements for duties to be covered.

Seek temporary cover.

Commence recruitment process to employ a replacement member of staff.

Review procedures to ensure minimal impact from loss.
Loss of Councillors due to multiple resignations (causing Council to be inquorate) Co-option of Councillors who may be in reserve. Town Clerk to inform Cornwall Council Monitoring Officer

Town Clerk to inform remaining Councillors and staff of the situation.

Cornwall Council to determine temporary working strategy for Council Business to be maintained.

Instigation of election or co-option procedure.

Council to review procedures for recruitment for councillors.