§ Mr. Alan Simpson
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what were the reasons for the resignation of the Director General of Ordnance Survey; what advice he has givens 341W Ministers as to working relationships between Ordnance Survey and local government; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Ms Beverley Hughes
Dr. Robinson's decision to resign as Director General of Ordnance Survey was sudden and unexpected. His stated reason for resignation was difficulty in reaching agreement with local government over a number of important national initiatives. Dr. Robinson decided it was time for someone else to lead these issues to a successful conclusion.
The acting Director General has advised me that there are many positive aspects to the relationship between Ordnance Survey and local government. All local authorities have access to, and gain great benefit from, a wide range of Ordnance Survey data through a centralised agreement. Working in closer partnership to realise benefits made possible by recent technological developments does present a significant new challenge for Ordnance Survey and local government. Ordnance Survey remains committed to meeting this challenge and finding practical, co-ordinated ways forward. For example, the Director General of Ordnance Survey has jointly commissioned with the Improvement and Development Agency (IDeA) an independent review of the relationship between Ordnance Survey and local authorities. This review specifies opportunities for developing the relationship, which are now being jointly pursued by Ordnance Survey and IDeA.
For my part, I fully endorse the vision for the future of Ordnance Survey that was articulated by Geoff Robinson. It has also been greeted with considerable enthusiasm by a broad spectrum of members of the geographical information community and is being vigorously pursued by Ordnance Survey staff.