Fire Services

Communities and Local Government written question – answered on 15th September 2008.

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Photo of John Martin McDonnell John Martin McDonnell Labour, Hayes and Harlington

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government

(1) what representations she has received on the FiReControl Project from (a) Chief Fire Officers, (b) chairs of local fire authorities and (c) chairs of local authority companies since March 2008; and whether such representations have indicated opposition from fire authorities in their region to the move to regional control centres;

(2) what plans she has to introduce regional fire control centres in areas where the local fire authority opposes their introduction; under what authority such powers may be exercised; and what powers she has to enforce such action.

Photo of John Healey John Healey Minister of State (Department of Communities and Local Government) (Local Government)

We are working closely with all interested parties, including chief fire officers, fire and rescue authorities and local authority controlled companies, to deliver the FiReControl Project. There have been formal and informal representations and as with any project, a mixture of views have been submitted.

As the recently published Business Case Part 1: The Regional Cases show, FiReControl will significantly enhance national resilience and will provide a much greater functionality for the fire and rescue service in England. Communities and Local Government is committed to delivering this project. The "Fire and Rescue Service National Framework 2008-11" reinforced this commitment.

Communities and Local Government have worked in partnership with other interested parties to deliver the FiReControl Project, and wishes to continue working in this way. But because of its importance we would consider, but only as a last resort, the use of powers under sections 22 and 29 of the Fire and Rescue Services Act 2004 to ensure a successful move to FiReControl Network.

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