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Volume 470: debated on Tuesday 8 January 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many local authorities have made a contingency plan for responding to a influenza pandemic. (167161)

I have been asked to reply.

The Government do not formally collect information on the emergency plans and business continuity arrangements maintained by individual local authorities.

Part 1 of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004 establishes a statutory framework for civil protection activity at the local level. Under this legislation, all principal local authorities are required to maintain emergency plans and business continuity arrangements, informed by risk assessments, to ensure that they can mobilise an effective emergency response, and are able to continue to exercise their other functions during a full range of emergencies, including health emergencies. The legislation also requires local authorities and other key partners to exercise these plans. The performance of English local authorities against the duties set out in the Act is assessed by the Audit Commission as part of the comprehensive performance assessment.