HC Deb 12 June 1974 vol 874 cc555-6W
65. Sir Bernard Braine

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment if he will give particulars of the oil, gas and chemical products stored on Convey Island, including descriptions of the products concerned, their quantities, loca- tion and precise distances in each case from the nearest dwellings, including caravan sites; if he is satisfied with the arrangements for their safe keeping; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. John Silkin

I do of course understand the anxieties of people on Convey Island; however, since 1st April 1974 the Essex County Council has been the licensing authority under the Petroleum (Consolidation) Act 1928 in respect of petroleum spirit, including cyclohexane, storage tanks, which have to be licensed annually. It is for the county council to obtain information of the kind asked for by the hon. Member and to satisfy itself that arrangement for safe keeping are satisfactory.

Sir Bernard Braine

asked the Secretary of State for the Environment whether, in view of the hazards to Convey Island represented by the existing concentration of gas, oil and chemical storage, including such products as cyclohexane, he will now use his powers to halt the construction of the oil refineries for which planning permission has been given against the advice of the local authorities.

Mr. Crosland

No. The Government will take whatever action is necessary as soon as the report of the Flixborough inquiry is available. In the meantime it would be premature to take action of the kind suggested by the hon. Member.