Shops sign up to new emergency measures

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FIVE Northumberland village shops have signed up to supply their local communities in the event of an emergency and the search is on for more.

Following a call from Northumberland County Council’s civil contingencies team for village shops to consider becoming designated suppliers for local rest centres, Millar’s Village Store in Longhorsley became the first shop to sign up to the new database.

Since then, village stores in Felton and Kielder as well as in Allenheads and Bellingham have joined the list.

Rest centres are used in the event of evacuations during major incidents to provide a safe haven for those affected.

The use of premises as rest centres is usually only short-term (less than 48 hours).

One of the most important considerations in the first few hours is the provision of food and drinks to those sheltering in the rest centres.

The availability of a village store to provide supplies is very helpful especially in a county the size of Northumberland where 24-hour supermarkets are few and far between.

Coun Anita Romer, executive member for public protection, said: “We are very grateful to all the businesses that have signed up to this register making their stock available in the event of an emergency.

“Jan and Ian Millar from Longhorsley led the charge and we are very grateful to them and the four other shops who have signed up to the scheme.

“It is crucial that we work with the community and local businesses to ensure that we can provide the best emergency response in the event of flooding, heavy snowfall and any other incident that may occur in the future.”

Any supplies acquired from village shops, which are used in the rest centres, will be reimbursed by the county council.

For more information about the scheme contact Nigel Fisher, civil contingencies officer on 01670 591208 or email