Easter Adjournment

Part of Deferred Division No. 85 – in the House of Commons at 3:42 pm on 29th March 2007.

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Photo of Shona McIsaac Shona McIsaac PPS (Caroline Flint, Minister of State), Department of Health 3:42 pm, 29th March 2007

I am delighted to be able to take part in the debate and to address this packed House of Commons. First, I congratulate my hon. Friend Paddy Tipping on returning to the Front Bench as Deputy Leader of the House. I have always found him to be helpful to Back Benchers and I am sure that he will take up all the issues that have been raised today with the appropriate Ministers.

Bob Spink mentioned developments on Canvey Island. Cleethorpes conjures up the image of a wonderful British seaside resort, which it is, but, geographically, it is a very large constituency. On the Humber bank we have one of the highest concentrations of COMAH—control of major accident hazards—sites in the UK. Several years ago, there was an explosion at one of the oil refineries in the constituency, which impacted on neighbouring villages and towns. I was in my office in Immingham, about two to three miles from the refinery. When the explosion happened, the shock wave bent the glass in the window. I can appreciate the concerns of the constituents of the hon. Gentleman, who also mentioned Flixborough, which is near Scunthorpe. I believe that we have two full-time fire stations because of the number of COMAH sites—refineries, power stations, inorganic chemical works and so on. I understand that given its size Immingham would not even warrant one part-time fire engine if it were not for the COMAH sites within the area. That always has to be looked at in relation to those hazardous developments.