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Local Government: Influenza

Volume 493: debated on Tuesday 2 June 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent assessment her Department has made of the levels of preparedness of local authorities for an influenza pandemic. (277028)

I have been asked to reply.

Local authorities have to decide how to meet their legal obligations to plan for an influenza pandemic under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004. Local authority compliance with the Civil Contingencies Act duties is assessed by the Audit Commission as part of their Comprehensive Performance Assessment process.

As members of Local Resilience Forums (LRFs), local authorities have played a full part in the development of local multi agency pandemic influenza plans. Over the last year, these plans have undergone validation by local responders and Government offices and at least one LRF plan per region has been tested via a table top exercise. Lessons identified will be shared locally.

Plans are available on local LRF websites and can be accessed through the UK Resilience pages of the Cabinet Office website:

www.cabinetoffice.gov.uk/ukresilience/pandemicflu/plans/regional_plans.aspx