Parish councils to be involved- Napoli inquiry recommends

PUBLISHED: 16:30 23 January 2009 | UPDATED: 12:19 17 June 2010

PARISH councils should play an important role in the aftermath of disasters like the Napoli, the official inquiry recommended. John Bass, chairman of Branscombe Parish Council, told the inquiry panel at the public hearings in November that there was a lac

PARISH councils should play an important role in the aftermath of disasters like the Napoli, the official inquiry recommended.

John Bass, chairman of Branscombe Parish Council, told the inquiry panel at the public hearings in November that there was a lack of communication between agencies and the parish council which resulted in local knowledge being overlooked.

As a result Professor Ian Mercer, leader of the inquiry, recommended that there should be one person in charge who should be supported by a group which includes the clerk or chairman of the local council.

He told the Herald: "It would have saved a lot of effort and time if the parish council has been asked to share their knowledge.

"They would have known that mechanical communication doesn't work there and the parish council have used CB radios for some time which could have been used by the police.

"I think they (Branscombe residents) were hard done by. No one would wish it on them-they were subjected to the worst excess of looters."

Mr Bass welcomed the findings of the inquiry.

He said: "Anything taken on board that would minimise repeats of the scenes we had in Branscombe would be desirable."

"When you have got a ship on your beach for no real apparent reason it comes as a bit of a shock.

"The quicker people can be informed like the parish council and other prominent bodies then the quicker it can be conveyed to parishioners.


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