Major IT issue

Thank you for your patience whilst IT have been resolving the problems. The majority of our systems are now back online and IT are working hard to resolve the final few.

Nearly all problems have been resolved, although customers may still get a "delivery failure" reply if emailing a Council department.

You can still carry out most transactions on our website. If you need to contact us by phone and your call is urgent we will try to help you. If your call is not urgent please contact us in the latter half of next week as we anticipate the first half of the week to be extremely busy.

We apologise for any inconvenience while we work to resolve this problem.

Dealing with suspect packages

Potential hazards

  • incendiary devices
  • explosive devices
  • chemical or biological contamination
  • sharp blades / needles

Look for the following

  • the postmark - is it foreign?
  • do you normally get letters or parcels from this country?
  • is the name and address of the sender missing?
  • the writing: is it 'unusual' in style. Do you recognise it?
  • is there any improper spelling of common names, places or titles?
  • does it have no postage or non-cancelled postage?
  • is it evenly balanced? If the package is lopsided, treat it as suspect
  • if the weight seems to be excessive for the package's size, treat it as suspect.
  • are there any small holes or pinpoints which could have been made by wires?
  • are there any stains or grease marks, which could be caused by sweating explosives?
  • the feel of the package. In the case of letters, it will indicate whether there is only folded paper inside the envelope or if there is stiffening; for example, cardboard, the feel of metal or the feel of a granular substance, in which cases treat it as suspect
  • does it smell? Some explosives have an aroma of marzipan or almonds
  • can you see if there are any unusual outlines if you hold it up to the light?
  • is the flap of the envelope stuck down completely? (There is usually a small gap.) If so treat it as suspect

What to do with a suspect package

  • do not open it
  • do not bend the envelope or package, or place it in water
  • do place the package on a flat surface, if possible in a sealable container or plastic bag (if it's been opened leave it)
  • do shut the windows in the room
  • do switch off any extract fans / air conditioning
  • do leave the room closing the door.
  • do not go back into the room.
  • do evacuate the building / immediate vicinity keeping clear of the suspect package.
  • do not touch your eyes, nose or other part of your body in case your hands are contaminated
  • do wash your hands thoroughly
  • do keep all evacuated persons available for questioning by the police, do not allow them to disperse
  • do keep all persons who have been near the package together and, as far as possible, isolated from others
  • if possible, ensure that a list is compiled of each member of staff and all visitors names and location within the building at the time of the event, and contact details

Emergency procedures

  • ensure you have an suspect package / evacuation plan in place (fire evacuation system is generally suitable)
  • raise the alarm
  • go to the assembly point
  • contact the emergency services on 999

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