HL Deb 19 June 2003 vol 649 cc138-9WA
Lord Elder

asked Her Majesty's Government:

When they will publish the draft Civil Contingencies Bill. [HL3501]

Baroness Scotland of Asthal

The Minister for the Cabinet Office, Douglas Alexander, has today published a draft Civil Contingencies Bill (Cmd 5843) which, with the accompanying non-legislative measures, will deliver a single framework for civil protection in the United Kingdom.

The Bill will codify existing best practice at the local level, ensuring consistency and enhancing performance and communication; it will deliver a new regional civil protection tier to enhance existing regional resilience; and it will modernise the legislative tools available to Government to deal with the most serious emergencies, providing greater flexibility, proportionality, deployability and robustness.

A Parliamentary Joint Committee formed from Members of both the House of Commons and the House of Lords will undertake pre-legislative scrutiny of the proposals.

Copies of the draft Civil Contingencies Bill, Explanatory Notes, the Regulatory Impact Assessment and the consultation document Draft Civil Contingencies Bill are available in the Libraries of both Houses and can also be viewed on the UK Resilience website (www.ukresilience.info). Interested parties are invited to submit their comments and views on the content of the draft Bill.

The Minister for the Cabinet Office has also today published an interim revision of Dealing with Disaster, which contains core guidance to emergency planners and local responders. This latest version takes account of changes in structures, practice and legislation, pending a further, comprehensive revision once the Civil Contingencies Bill is brought into force.

This is also available in the Libraries of both Houses and can be viewed at www.ukresilience.info.