Emergency Planning (Support)

First Minister's Question Time — Prime Minister (Meetings) – in the Scottish Parliament at 3:11 pm on 13 March 2003.

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Photo of Stewart Stevenson Stewart Stevenson Scottish National Party 3:11, 13 March 2003

To ask the First Minister what additional support is being given to local government emergency planning officers to assist in responding to emergencies following the relocation of military personnel from Scotland. (S1F-2575)

Photo of Rt Hon Jack McConnell Rt Hon Jack McConnell Labour

Emergency planning in Scotland is kept under constant review to ensure that Scotland is able and ready to deal with any emergency that might arise. When circumstances change, plans are adjusted by those who are responsible for them.

Photo of Stewart Stevenson Stewart Stevenson Scottish National Party

In an earlier answer, the First Minister said that several exercises had taken place in councils throughout Scotland. I understand that most of them were desktop exercises. I draw the First Minister's attention to the fact that the budget for emergency planning in local authorities is only just over half what the Executive spends on advertising. Does that not show that the Executive's electoral future has a higher priority than the safety of people throughout Scotland?

Photo of Rt Hon Jack McConnell Rt Hon Jack McConnell Labour

Apart from the fact that additional funding is available for emergency planning, quite frankly that was a silly question. It is nonsense to suggest that the Executive's road safety advertising and other such advertising has anything to do with the election. To say so demeans Stewart Stevenson and others who make that argument.

Photo of Dorothy-Grace Elder Dorothy-Grace Elder Independent

In the event of war with Iraq, has the national health service in Scotland made plans for the hospitalisation of wounded troops?

Photo of Rt Hon Jack McConnell Rt Hon Jack McConnell Labour

We all hope that that situation will not arise. If it does, Scottish hospitals will, as Dorothy-Grace Elder can imagine, play their part in providing the appropriate services that are needed as part of the national health service across the UK.