HC Deb 24 February 1975 vol 887 cc21-3
21. Mrs. Renée Short

asked the Secretary of State for Energy when he intends to announce the membership and terms of reference of his advisory committee to be appointed at the request of the Institute of Structural Engineers.

Mr. John Smith

The membership and terms of reference of the new Advisory Committee on Fixed Offshore Installations, which my right hon. Friend has set up at the request of the Institution of Structural Engineers, will be circulated in the Official Report.

Mrs. Short

I am much obliged for that reply, and I am glad to hear that this committee is at last being set up. When the advisory committee is at work, will my hon. Friend consider very carefully the need to have a British certifying authority for these concrete platforms being built in the North Sea, bearing in mind the appalling delays which occur when our plans have to be submitted to Norge Veritas and then transmitted back here before the building work can begin?

Mr. Smith

My right hon. Friend much appreciates the close interest which my hon. Friend takes in this subject. She will be aware that among the certifying authorities is Lloyd's Register of Shipping. Most important of all, my right hon. Friend has asked the committee to investigate the means of encouraging greater participation by British designers and construction firms in the design and construction of fixed offshore structures. In appointing certifying authorities, regard must be had to independence and technical skills, and if British firms can do the job I am sure the committee will make appropriate recommendations to my right hon. Friend.

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