It is with continued disappointment that HolidayTravelWatch notes that it is still waiting for an acknowledgement and response to its letter to the Cabinet Office of the 31 October 2012! In that letter, the Organisation raised the issue of using Public Information Films to promote a greater Public awareness of the dangers of Carbon Monoxide.
In 2010, the present government, through the Cabinet Office, carried out a thorough review into the structure of Public Information Films. Following their review, Public Information Films were completely restructured and the Cabinet Office assumed responsibility for their operation.
In addition to asking them what they were going to do about promoting the dangers of Carbon Monoxide through the use of Public Information Films, we also requested that Ministers/Officials from the Cabinet Office meet with the victims/survivors and campaigners, to share views and to explain how the government intended to use Public Information Films in this area.
As a result of not receiving any response to our initial request, we took the following action:
- On 24/1/13 we wrote again seeking a response - none was received;
- On 8/2/13 we wrote again seeking a response - none was received;
- We have tried to engage the Cabinet Office through 'Twitter' - no response was received;
- On 21/2/13 we issued a press release calling for a response - this was sent to the the Cabinet Office - no response has been received.
HolidayTravelWatch is aware that all letters and the press release have been received by the Cabinet Office.
Frank Brehany, the Consumer Director for HolidayTravelWatch is due to speak at the House of Commons today on the issue of Carbon Monoxide in holidays. In that speech, he will not condemn the Cabinet Office but will ask the them to do the following:
- To positively respond to the letters sent and points raised by HolidayTravelWatch;
- To meet with the victims/survivors and campaigners to discuss Public Information Films and Carbon Monoxide, and
- To demonstrate how it will create the conditions to promote the use of Public Information Films for Carbon Monoxide.
Frank Brehany states:
"I will leave others to judge what is happening here, but the deafening silence suggests a lack of willingness to engage with victims, survivors and campaigners on the issue of Public Information Films and Carbon Monoxide. It is for the Cabinet Office to rebut that suggestion and I hope that we can now move forward positively on this issue and so create the conditions where fewer people suffer injury or death from Carbon Monoxide, whether they are on holiday or within their own homes!"
Note to editors: This release has been sent to the Cabinet Office.
Frank Brehany can be contacted for comment via:
HolidayTravelWatch provides the following estimates of death and injury arising from Carbon Monoxide in holidays (the data-set used for calculation stems from information gathered by Baroness Finlay/APPGSG (now APPCOG) and CO-Gas Safety):
- 2,430 EU Citizens are potentially killed by CO each year;
- 108,000 EU Citizens are potentially injured by CO each year;
- From those figures we estimate (using the 13% holiday CO cases estimate figure from CO Gas Safety) that there are 316 potential holidaymaker deaths each year and 14,040 potential holidaymaker injuries throughout the EU from CO whilst on holiday!
- Allowing for annual variance’s, the closest estimate we can make on UK Holiday CO exposures (based on the 13% figure referred to above) is 11.7 deaths per annum and 520 Accident & Emergency admissions!