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Fire Service

Volume 407: debated on Wednesday 18 June 2003

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To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what estimate he has made of the number of firefighters who will be made redundant in each fire authority in England under the new arrangements; and if he will make a statement. [119677]

No such estimate has been made as part of the process of introducing integrated risk management. The Deputy Prime Minster has repeatedly made it clear that the modernisation of the fire service can be achieved without the need for compulsory redundancies.

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of the effect on fire service 999 emergency response times in Harrogate and Knaresborough of the new risk management plans. [119678]

No assessment has been made of the effect on fire service 999 emergency response times in Harrogate and Knaresborough. Under integrated risk management, it will be for fire authorities to set local standards for responding to fires and other emergencies in the light of a full assessment of the risks faced by their communities.

To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will place in the Library (a) the Burchill proposed costing for each fire authority in England and (b) the fire authority costing for the proposals put forward by the fire authorities. [119680]

The proposals put forward by Professor Frank Burchill for the resolution of the pay dispute between the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and their local authority employers contained no detailed costings. The proposals put forward by the employers, accepted by the FBU on 12 June 2003, do not include costings, but the employers have assured me that the deal is deliverable within current budgets, supported by £30 million of transitional funding from the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, repayable over the Spending Review 2002 period.