Civil Contingencies

Deputy Prime Minister written question – answered on 30th March 2006.

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Photo of Robert Syms Robert Syms Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government)

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what steps he is taking to ensure that local authorities fulfil their duties under the Civil Contingencies Act 2004; and what guidance he has issued on such duties.

Photo of Jim Murphy Jim Murphy Parliamentary Under-Secretary (Cabinet Office)

I have been asked to reply.

Part 1 of the Civil Contingencies Act 2004—most of which came fully into force on 14 November 2005—establishes a statutory framework for civil protection arrangements at the local level. The Act sets out clear roles and responsibilities for local responders (including local authorities) establishing a basis for effective performance assessment. The Act's accompanying regulations (Contingency Planning 2005") set out the detail of the new legislative framework providing a clear set of standards for responders to meet. The supporting statutory guidance Emergency Preparedness" describes in more detail how these standards can be met. It sets out the requirements of the Act and provides advice on good practice.

The performance of responders against the requirements set out in the Act is assessed by their existing performance assessment frameworks. English local authorities' performance is assessed by the Audit Commission through the comprehensive performance assessment (CPA) process. The performance of local authorities in Wales is assessed by the Wales Audit Office.

The Scottish Executive is responsible for making regulations and issuing guidance, under the Act, to local authorities in Scotland. In Northern Ireland, local authorities are subject to the non-statutory Northern Ireland civil contingencies framework.

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