§ Mr. Neil Thorne
asked the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry what further consideration he has given to an increase in the number of times RAYNET groups may participate in exercises with the user services; and if he will make a statement.
§ Mr. Kenneth Baker
My Department has recently agreed with the Radio Society of Great Britain to increase the present limit which applies to RAYNET group exercises and changes will be made to the amateur radio licence to come into effect on 8 June 1984. From this date any exercise relating to disaster relief operations conducted by one of the user services — that is, the British Red Cross Society, the St. John Ambulance Brigade, the county emergency planning officer or any police force in the United Kingdom—will be without limit. Participation in other operations conducted by a user service will be subject to a maximum of four exercises in any one calendar month and an overriding limit of 12 in any calendar year.
An additional change to the licence is being made to enable an amateur station to be operated during any disaster relief operation in the presence of and under the direct supervision of the licensee, by a representative nominated by the user service conducting the operation.