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Civil Defence Regulations: Implementation

Volume 490: debated on Tuesday 17 November 1987

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2.47 p.m.

My Lords, I beg leave to ask the Question standing in my name on the Order Paper.

The Question was as follows:

To ask Her Majesty's Government whether, with regard to civil protection, all joint fire and civil defence authorities have complied with the Home Office circular dated 30th October 1986, called A Planned Programme for Implementation.

My Lords, only one of the fire and civil defence authorities has so far failed to respond, and we are in touch with that authority.

My Lords, I am gratified to hear such news from my noble friend. Can he tell us whether all those local authorities that have complied have done so to his full satisfaction or whether it is in the form of the creative compliance, as it is called, beloved by those who have nuclear-free zones?

My Lords, it is difficult to give my noble friend an answer to that question because there have been fairly voluminous replies and we are in the process of going through them. I shall be in a better position to answer once we have gone through them.

My Lords, can my noble friend confirm that he is considering using his reserve powers on the one authority that has not complied, which, I believe, is Birmingham or the West Midlands?

My Lords, I can confirm that the outstanding fire and civil defence authority is the West Midlands. We have written to that authority today. If we do not receive a satisfactory response, we shall have to consider whether we should use our reserve powers.