§ Dr. Murrison
To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the(a) prevalence and (b) causes of occupational stress among local government officers. 
§ Mr. Leslie
Decisions on specific health issues like occupational stress are a matter for individual local authority employers and detailed information about causes and prevalence is not held centrally and could be provided only at disproportionate cost. However, as part of the Review of Ill-Health Retirement in the Public Sector, there continues to be close collaboration with the Employers' Organisation for Local Government and the Association of Local Authority Medical Advisers in the preparation of a Management of Ill-Health Retirement handbook published in September 2002. This includes a chapter on the causes of stress, recognising the symptoms and the implications for local authority managers and those working in the occupational health sector.