§ Mr. Redmond
To ask the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food what action her Department is taking in providing and maintaining flood warning sirens; and if she will make a statement.
§ Mr. Jack
Following the decision last year by my right hon. Friend the then Home Secretary that the obsolete national air raid warning siren system should be closed as soon as possible, local authorities which used the system for flood warning purposes were invited to take over the equipment and be responsible for its upkeep. I understand that discussions subsequently took place between the Home Office, local authorities and British Telecom about the maintenance of these systems. My right hon. Friend the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food wrote to the chairman of British Telecom on 9 November seeking his support in ensuring that the siren systems used for flood warning purposes are maintained by them in an operational state at least until the end of the present winter storm tide season in March-April 1994. It is anticipated that the authorities concerned will have alternative arrangements in place before winter 1994–95.