§ Mr. Nigel Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for the Environment, Transport and the Regions what assessment he has made of the preparedness of local authorities and emergency services in Gloucestershire for dealing with the millennium bug; and if he will make a statement. 
§ Ms Armstrong
It is each authority's responsibility, for which they are accountable to their local people, to ensure they are adequately prepared for the Millennium Bug and have proper plans in place for the emergency services. Independent assessment of the state of preparedness is being carried out by auditors and the Audit Commission, which, in June, will be naming any council which is not making sufficient progress. We have also appointed teams in the Government Offices to help councils to prepare for the Millennium Bug, and to report on the state of preparedness of the local government sector to Action 2000's National Infrastructure Forum.