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Civil Defence

Volume 981: debated on Thursday 27 March 1980

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asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he expects to announce the results of his review of civil defence provision.

asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will list in the Official Report the membership of the working group studying domestic shelters, the terms of reference of the group and when they are expected to report.

The chairman of the working group is a Home Office scientist and the membership is drawn from the Home Office, Property Services Agency, Ministry of Defence and the Atomic Weapons Research Establishment. Its terms of reference are:1. To examine and report on the design submitted by Home Office Architects Branch for a glass reinforced plastic shelter to accommodate six to eight persons by arranging for the construction of a prototype and its erection on a site or sites in order to determine:

  • i. its suitability to various soil conditions;
  • ii. the durability of the structure and its ability to withstand the effects of weather and water;
  • iii. any necessary modification to the design and method of construction;
  • iv. the protection afforded against heat, blast and fallout;
  • v. probable relevant costs.
  • 2. To consider what advice might be given to members of the public wishing to make provision for domestic shelter at their own expense:

  • (a) in peacetime by permanent or semipermanent adaptation to buildings under construction or in existence;
  • (b) in peacetime by making preparations and in crisis by rapid action to provide shelter of higher standard than a refuge room as contemplated in "Protect and Survive"; taking account of such worthwhile commercial designs as may be available.
  • 3.—i. To submit interim reports and recommendations as appropriate or when requested by F6 Division.

    ii. To submit a final report and recommendation.

    4. The Working Group shall have power to co-opt additional members as necessary for the discussion of specific matters, and to invite other interested government departments or outside bodies to contribute.

    The group's report will be produced as soon as possible and will be followed by the issue of advice and guidance to the public.