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15 Oct 2002 : Column 730Wcontinued
Tony Baldry: To ask the Secretary of State for Transport what further representations the Government will make to meet its pledge at the World Summit on Sustainable Development to encourage other Governments to ratify the International Maritime Organisation convention. 
Mr. Jamieson: The World Summit on Sustainable Development's Plan of Implementation identifies the enhancement of maritime safety and protection of the marine environment from pollution as important objectives, and in this context makes referenceinter aliato actions at all levels to invite States to ratify or accede to and implement the conventions and protocols and other relevant instruments of the International Maritime Organization (IMO) relating to the enhancement of maritime safety and protection of the marine environment from marine pollution and environmental damage caused by ships.
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active in seeking to ensure that states meet their responsibilities in the fields of maritime safety, and environmental protection from shipping, at the IMO.
The UK will continue to be active, both in the forum of the EU and in that of the IMO, in encouraging other states to ratify and implement the IMO conventions which are of such importance to us and other maritime nations.
In particular, since June 2001 the UK has been active within the EU in promoting a strategy for implementation of IMO conventions to significantly improve the compensation arrangements following pollution from shipping and to improve response to marine pollution.
Mr. Alexander: Electronic delivery of Government services provides the opportunity to bring them together in a convenient way for users, particularly those who find travel difficult. Over half of Government services are already available electronically.
We are currently conducting a pilot''UK online interactive''through Digital Television. The service is currently available on the BSkyB platform, with work in progress to extend this to all platforms.
Mr. Alexander: Since the attacks of 11 September 2001, the Government has conducted a wide ranging review of UK counter terrorist procedures and infrastructure, including physical and legislative measures to disrupt, deter and prevent terrorist activity. The Government's progress report ''The United Kingdom and the Campaign against International Terrorism'' published on 9 September, and placed in the library of the House, provides a summary of action taken to strengthen counter-terrorism measures within the UK.
The Civil Contingencies Secretariat (CCS) was formed prior to the events of 11 September with a specific remit to co-ordinate improvements in civil emergency planning and since September 11 has been bringing departments and key organisations together to enhance preparedness for any major disruptive incident. This has included: working to designate lead departments for specific incidents, ensuring that they have satisfactory response plans and taking forward work towards a Civil Contingencies Bill. Further information on the preparedness of the UK to respond to a major terrorist attack can be found on the website maintained by the CCS at: http://www.ukresilience.info/home.htm
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Mr. Alexander: The Government has established procedures for managing any terrorist incident, including the consequences. The response to any terrorist incident relies upon a co-ordinated approach and the Government draws upon the resources of relevant departments, the security and intelligence agencies, the police, the military, scientific and other specialist advice, local authorities and the emergency services. The UK crisis management machinery is based on a proven response capability, co-ordinated through the Cabinet Office. Each agency involved contributes its own specialist skills and resources to achieve an effective response and outcome to the incident.
To further enhance the capacity at the centre of Government to co-ordinate security, intelligence and consequence management matters and deal with risks and major emergencies should they arise, Sir David Omand KCB was appointed as Security and Intelligence Co-ordinator and Permanent Secretary to the Cabinet Office in June this year.
Mr. Alexander: Sir David Omand KCB was appointed as Security and Intelligence Co-ordinator and Permanent Secretary of the Cabinet Office in June this year. This new post was created to enhance the capacity at the centre of Government to co-ordinate security, intelligence and consequence management matters and deal with risks and major emergencies should they arise.
Sir David's appointment does not affect the statutory relationships between the Heads of the Intelligence Agencies and their Secretaries of State, nor the statutory sole responsibility of the Agency Heads for the direction
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Mr. Francois: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what resources the Government are allocating to emergency planning over one period covered by the Comprehensive Spending Review, broken down into annual budget totals. 
Mr. Alexander: The Civil Defence Grant provided to local authorities in England and Wales is a specific grant that must be used for emergency planning. The financial accounts of local authorities are audited to ensure this.
Mr. Alexander: The Civil Defence Grant budget was not reduced for 200203. The Government allocated #18.97 million to local authorities in England and Wales for 200203, which was the same amount as in the previous year.
Mr. Beith: To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what was (a) the total cost of the People's Panel, (b) the title, client and value of each project undertaken using the panel and (c) the amount paid to MORI under their contract with the Department in respect of the panel in each financial year from 199899 to 200001. 
Mr. Alexander: The total cost of People's Panel research was #1,408,365. Details on the title, client and value of each research project undertaken and on the payments to MORI and others have been placed in the libraries of the House today.
Mr. Alexander: Two independent evaluations were carried outthe first in 2000 and a second and final report which was published in July this year. Both were placed in the House libraries and are available on the Panel web site: http://www.pm.gov.uk/output/Page5627.as
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Mr. Alexander: In April 1997, there were 148,800 permanent Civil Service staff working in London and the South East. By April 2001, this had fallen to 144,550, representing a 1.4 per cent. reduction in the number of staff based in these areas. However, overall the remaining regions have seen an increase in the number of permanent Civil Service staff during the same period.
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