New Clause 5 — Regional Management Structures

Part of Fire and Rescue Services Bill – in the House of Commons at 8:30 pm on 15th March 2004.

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Photo of Philip Hammond Philip Hammond Shadow Minister (Communities and Local Government) 8:30 pm, 15th March 2004

I could say a great deal, but I must speak against the backdrop of the Minister's filibuster. I shall give him the benefit of the doubt and assume that the failure of the annunciator system allowed him to go on for rather longer than he wanted to.

The Minister has not attempted to make a case for the existing Government offices for the regions being the optimum basis for the organisation of our fire and rescue services. All we have heard from him is the ludicrous charge that because we introduced Government offices for the regions in the first place, it is somehow our fault. In view of the time, I do not intend to use any more of it up, but simply urge my hon. Friends to support new clause 5 in the Lobby.