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Thames Flooding

Volume 974: debated on Thursday 29 November 1979

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asked the Minister for the Civil Service how many computers operated by Government Departments, and Government-funded statutory and non-statutory bodies, located near the River Thames would remain operational in the event of the river bursting its banks; and what implications that would have on the work of those Departments and bodies.

My Department does not hold details of any computers operated by Government-funded statutory or non-statutory bodies, other than Government Departments, which might be within the London flood risk area. There are 21 computers in Government Departments which would probably cease to be operational in the event of the River Thames bursting its banks, because electricial mains power would be discontinued, standby generators may be flooded and staff may be unable to reach their place of work. For vital work standby facilities with installations outside the flood risk area would be invoked or work performed by alternative means. Work of a less critical nature would, in general, have to be discontinued until computer facilities were again available.