§ Mr. Couchman
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment what proposals he has for establishing a United Kingdom halon bank.
§ Mr. Maclean
The Government do not plan to establish a Government-run United Kingdom halon bank. However, following discussions between Government halon users and the fire industry, I am pleased to announce the establishment of the project phase of the Halon Users' National Consortium (HUNC). HUNC is being set up by halon users and the fire industry with the aim of managing the United Kingdom installed bank of halons. It will act as a clearing house putting those who need to continue using halons in contact with those who do not. Unlike halon bank management proposals elsewhere in the world, HUNC will be a non-profit making organisation. It will be funded by members' subscriptions rather than from a levy on sales.
As its contribution to HUNC, my Department is funding publicity which is being issued to UK halon users this week. The set up costs for HUNC are being met by halon users and the fire industry. This is an excellent example of Government and industry co-operation.