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Civil Contingencies

Volume 404: debated on Thursday 8 May 2003

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To ask the Secretary of State for Northern Ireland if he will make a statement on his Department's a) responsibilities and (b) assets with regard to civil contingency planning: what funds are committed; what action he is taking within his Department to improve such planning; and what action he is taking in collaboration with other departments. [102631]

I refer the hon. Member to the Cabinet Office response to this question on 21 March 2003. In Northern Ireland all government departments are responsible for ensuring that they have contingency planning arrangements in place to deal with any emergency falling within the areas for which they have responsibility.The Northern Ireland Office contributes (currently 5.7 per cent.) to the costs of the Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear (CBRN) Police Training Centre at Winterbourne Gunner where a cadre of officers from the Police Service of Northern Ireland has been trained in CBRN response.The Department is collaborating with the Civil Contingencies Secretariat (CCS) in the Central Coordinated Exercise Programme to develop and promote resilience, and, along with the Central Emergency Planning Unit (CEPU) of the Office of the First Minister and Deputy First Minister, is liaising with CCS on Northern Ireland aspects of the Civil Contingencies Bill.CEPU seeks to promote and encourage the development of effective civil protection across Northern Ireland Departments and their agencies. It does so by:

  • encouraging them to develop their emergency planning capabilities;
  • helping them set priorities in the field of emergency planning;
  • assisting them in the writing, review and exercise of their plans;
  • providing emergency planning training to meet identified needs.

Consultation document

Issued

Closes

The Independent review of the Parades Commission and the Public Procession (NI) Act 1998 conducted by Sir George Quigley7 November 200230 April 2003
Review of the State Pathologists Department in Northern Ireland "The Way forward"22 January 200330 April 2003
Road Traffic Penalties Consultation10 March 20039 June 2003

Within the Northern Ireland administration details of all public consultation documents that have been issued from 1 January 2002 can be accessed from the following website: www.consultationni.gov.uk. The website or the documents themselves also include details of closing dates for submitting submissions. In addition, details of consultation documents can also be found by following the departmental links on www.northernireland.gov.uk.