§ Mr. Tony Banks
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department what are the criteria for proclaiming a state of civil emergency; and if consideration was given to such a declaration arising from the consequences of the storm which hit London on the morning of 16 October.
§ Mr. Douglas Hogg
The Emergency Powers Act 1920 allows for a state of emergency to be declared if there is a threat to the maintenance of supplies and services essential to the life of the community. Although conditions in the south-east of England were bad, the emergency services, local and other authorities were able to cope with the demand on them, and there was no reason to think that the declaration of a state of emergency would have substantially improved their efforts.