Civil Contingencies Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:05 pm on 9th November 2004.

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Photo of Lord Garden Lord Garden Liberal Democrat 5:05 pm, 9th November 2004

My Lords, we have looked at this matter in different ways at different stages and I still think that the Government have not addressed the concerns which the noble Baroness, Lady Buscombe, has outlined.

We are looking at the ways in which we can have joined-up government, both vertically and horizontally, for unknown emergencies. It seems very strange that each time we consider this the Government are unwilling to place themselves under the same requirements as they do local authorities and other category 1 and category 2 responders.

On the last occasion I tabled an amendment that specifically identified the Ministry of Defence as having a role in this matter. I have not tabled it this time but the rather neat amendment of the noble Baroness, Lady Buscombe, returns to the idea that we need local authorities to know what central government will provide so that there is no duplication. We need a whole range of joined-up activities that are missing at present as there is no reference to the central government area. I strongly support the amendment.