Topical Questions

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Home Department – in the House of Commons at 12:00 am on 31st October 2016.

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Photo of Brandon Lewis Brandon Lewis Minister of State (Home Office) (Policing and the Fire Service) 12:00 am, 31st October 2016

First, I welcome the hon. Lady to her new position. I also take this opportunity to express my sympathy to all those affected by the recent devastating fires in Exeter, Birmingham, Doncaster and Cheshire, and to thank the firefighters for their efforts. They do save lives every day, as she outlined.

The hon. Lady should bear in mind that authorities still have more that they can do to reduce costs, as they say themselves. Over the past few weeks I have been talking at many conferences at which people have recognised the need to improve procurement and work collaboratively. She should also bear in mind that, since 2010, fire authorities’ non-ring-fenced reserves have managed to rise by 150%. There is still money so that we can ensure that authorities find future efficiencies.