§ Sir Bernard Braine
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what discussions his Department has had with the chief fire officer of Essex about the trials on the behaviour of liquefied gases carried out by the Shell Oil Company at Maplin; what part the chief fire officer plays in trials of this kind; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Mayhew
In view of my hon. Friend's questions on the trials conducted by the Shell Oil Company at Maplin, Her Majesty's Chief Inspector of Fire Services recently consulted the chief fire officer of Essex about the matter. The involvement of chief fire officers in trials of this kind is a matter for local determination on the part of those concerned. We believe that chief fire officers are often consulted by organisations undertaking activities that might have a relevance either to the fire authority's general responsibility for the provision of fire cover in their area or to their interest in matters concerned with fire, but there is no obligation on them to do so.