A TERROR expert from Runcorn was this week in top level talks with the Government in a bid to draw up plans to tackle the menace of chemical and biological weapons.
Dr Brian Ward, chairman of the Emergency Planning Society, met with ministers, chief police officers, medical experts and representatives from the Ministry of Defence to formulate a strategy to deal with a possible anthrax attack on the UK.
Now Mr Ward, of Treebank Close, believes Britain is well prepared for any possible terrorist chemical attack.
Following the talks, a document Response to the Deliberate Release of Chemicals and Biological Agents has been prepared which will be sent to every local authority and emergency service in the nation.
The purpose of the paper is to make sure Britain's life-savers have access to up-to-date information on any deadly chemical likely to be used by Islamic terrorists against the alliance nations.
Mr Ward said: 'In the event of a chemical attack, it is vital that we have detailed knowledge and we need access to experts in the field so that a speed analysis can be made of what exact chemical has been released.
'I believe that, through the meetings that have been held so far, the UK is in a good position to deal with any release of dangerous chemical agents.
'The key to success is the emergency services sharing their information and working together in a coordinated way to isolate the area affected as soon as possible and start decontamination procedures.
'The fact is, a chemical attack on the UK is quite an unlikely scenario, but it is vital that we are prepared for any eventuality.'
Following three deaths and dozens of reported cases of anthrax in the USA, there have been dozens of hoaxes in this country.
In West Yorkshire, where Mr Ward is based, white powder in an envelope delivered to a firm was eventually found to be crushed up Love-heart sweets.
Mr Ward, who is president of Widnes RUFC, is married with two children who attend Sts Peter and Paul High School. He has chaired the Emergency Planning Society for the last three years and works for West Yorkshire Fire Brigade.
He believes the Government should sanction international talks between planners to learn new techniques and exchange information.
He said: 'A number of countries are ahead of the UK in terms of the importance placed by central Government on emergency prepardness and protection of infrastructure.
'We have a lot to give other countries in terms of experience but we have a lot to learn as well. We must facilitate a dialogue between countries to ensure our emergency planners have the resources to plan and deal with any emergencies which happen in the UK.'