New Clause 5 — Regional Management Structures

Part of Fire and Rescue Services Bill – in the House of Commons at 7:45 pm on 15th March 2004.

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Photo of Hugo Swire Hugo Swire Opposition Whip (Commons), Shadow Minister (Culture, Media and Sport) 7:45 pm, 15th March 2004

I am grateful to the hon. Gentleman for giving way, especially as I have had to be absent from the Chamber for a little while, for which I apologise.

The hon. Gentleman makes a good point. When I visited the Devon fire rescue services centre, which he has visited often, I was impressed by its ability not only to locate a fire but to determine the equipment that was required to deal with it. For example, a specific number of vehicles and personnel would be sent to a burning timber yard. Of course, information is held on a computer, but local knowledge is also built up over many years. Anything that undermines that will disadvantage both the service and local people.