COUNCIL bosses have drawn-up new plans to prepare for a major disaster.

High-ranking councillors will meet on Wednesday to consider how the council would respond to a serious emergency at the town hall between now and 2022.

Severe fires, power outages, cyber attacks, floods and even pandemics, could grind services to a halt, according to the new four-year business continuity plan.

The concerns are that vital services could be delayed such as help for homeless families and the authority's finances.

Copeland Council was attacked by hackers in 2017 in an incident which left some systems out-of-action for six months and wound up costing the authority nearly £2million.

The new plans drawn-up by Barrow Council reveal it has an unnamed “offsite” location in the event of Barrow Town Hall being put out of action.

To prepare, IT “links” have already been installed between the town hall and the offsite location to keep the authority functioning.

The move would keep the computers on if there was “ever an event” which prevented the council operating out of the 131-year-old Duke Street building.

Staff “critical” to the running of the town hall and The Forum would also tap into the council’s network remotely.

The plan shows the council has a stockpiled a small amount of IT equipment, computers and monitors to minimise any delay in recovering services and has made plans for emergency furniture to set up desks.

The report said: “A major disruption is defined as an incident or event that disrupts the delivery of council services and requires contingency action to be taken. If there is a major disruption caused by staff not being able to attend work due to a pandemic or severe weather, conditions will be managed from existing venues.”

If the town hall is ever “incapacitated,” a report said that “alternative accommodation” could be provided over the short to medium term.

The last plan in 2014 said the alternative accommodation for employees would be provided at the Park Leisure Centre. The plan said: “Recovering the council’s IT network is a key part of the plan but the main priority is “the wellbeing of the people in the borough”.