The Government has unveiled a new strategy to ensure the UK is better prepared for crises such as pandemics, terrorism and extreme weather.
The efforts to re-think and reform the UK’s response to crises comes after a two-year-long pandemic, growing concerns about climate change and global tensions following the war in Ukraine.
It also comes as the Government grapples with strikes by nurses, ambulance drivers, rail workers and Border Force staff.
The 79-page report, launched by the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, was described as the “first articulation of how the UK Government will deliver on a new strategic approach to resilience”.
Plans include an annual statement to Parliament on civil contingencies, as well as a new Head of Resilience to “guide best practice, encourage adherence to standards, and set guidance”.
A new UK Resilience Academy will also offer training and education on resilience planning, with plans also to expand advisory groups with experts, academics and industry figures to boost Government planning.
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, Oliver Dowden, said: “Resilience has long been part of the UK’s approach to national security, but in an increasingly integrated world in which we cannot predict or prevent all of the challenges ahead, we need to refresh our approach – that’s why we are making resilience a national endeavour, so that as a country we are prepared for the next crisis, whatever it may be.
“We have set out an ambitious plan and have already begun, strengthening accountability and transparency here in government and refreshing the way we assess national security risks.
“Our framework is a tool for local government, emergency services, charities and the public, to enable everyone to prepare for crises.”
A sub-committee from the National Security Council will also consider issues linked to resilience planning, chaired by Mr Dowden.
In his forward to the report, the Cabinet minister warned of an increasingly “volatile” world.
“These are unsettled and troubling times. Russia’s brutal invasion of Ukraine; the wide-ranging impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic; increasing signs of the impact of climate change; and constant and evolving cyber challenges are recent examples of an evolving threat picture.
“We live in an increasingly volatile world, defined by geopolitical and geoeconomic shifts, rapid technological change and a changing climate.
“This context means that crises will have far reaching consequences and are likely to be greater in frequency and scale in the next decade than we have been used to.
“We have a responsibility to prepare for this future.”