HC Deb 31 January 2003 vol 398 c1049W
Mr. Swire

To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what preparations have been made outside large urban conurbations for responses to a terrorist attack; and what procedures are in place to cope and assist with the likely exodus of people from large cities in the event of an attack taking place there. [93380]

Mr. Alexander

The UK has robust plans in place for the protection of the public and of national security interests. The Government's preparations include a series of classified contingency plans for responding to a wide range of terrorist threats. These plans are regularly tested, reviewed and updated as circumstances change. Much of the response is based on generic, multi-agency, local emergency arrangements, developed within the clear guidelines set out by the Home Office.

Evacuation planning is currently undertaken at local level, by the police and local authority emergency planners. This includes ensuring routes to and from the site of the incident remain viable, and planning for the reception and re-housing of evacuees. We are also taking steps to strengthen the regional level of co-ordination, to ensure compatibility and cohesion of local evacuation and reception plans for large-scale incidents.