Headlines: December 7th, 1998

There is to be renewed energy pumped into the measures to ensure London is not crippled by computer failure at the turn of the century.A new London Readiness 2000 Team will take a strategic overview of efforts to ensure the utilities, emergency services, health, transport and local government are prepared for the switch to the new millennium.

Minister for London Nick Raynsford said their job would be to identify risks and where further work was required: “There is no room for complacency. I aim to ensure that we get the planning right for the capital, across the board.

“Because of the capital’s special significance, co-ordination is vital. Local government has an important role to play here and we are working closely with the Association of London Government.”

The new team will be headed by Stuart Lord, Director of Planning, Transport and Corporate Servicesof Government Office London and Martin Pilgrim, Chief Executive of the Association of London Government.

Margaret Beckett, Leader of the House of Commons, who is coordinating action on the bug across government said: “There has been some criticism of local authorities, with suggestions of lack of preparedness. This can best be countered by openness. Let the public see what action you are taking. Publish your millennium bug plans, and track progress against them, as the government has done.”