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Fire Services

Volume 462: debated on Thursday 28 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government on how many occasions (a) retained appliances have been off the run due to lack of staffing and (b) other appliances have then been mobilised as a result for each fire authority in each of the last five years. (146155)

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will place in the Library copies of all valid operational guidance issued to fire and rescue authorities. (146156)

The Department is currently in the process of reviewing all operational guidance issued to the fire and rescue service. As it is likely that this project will result in the review, re-issue or withdrawal of some of the considerable body of existing guidance, it is my view that placing all operational guidance in the Library now would not be a good use of resources. Recently issued Operational Guidance for the Fire and Rescue Service is available on the Communities and Local Government website, and a substantial proportion of older guidance such as Fire and Rescue Service Manuals is available from the Stationery Office. In the medium term, I would see guidance being made available electronically and, as this is of an operational nature, I have no plans to place this in the Library.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when the Centre of Excellence for the Fire Service will be created; and what consultation her Department has held with the Fire Brigades Union on the matter. (146157)

Proposals for a Centre of Excellence for the Fire and Rescue Service are being developed with a view to consultation in the autumn. A decision on whether to create a new body will be taken following consultation. All the Fire and Rescue Service trade unions, including the Fire Brigades Union are represented on the Sounding Board established by the Fire and Rescue Service Practitioners Forum to consider Centre of Excellence proposals.