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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 when she expects regional directors to be appointed for each of the regional control centres; and what the target date is for the establishment of each regional control centre company under the Fire Control Project. (146737)

Each company must have its directors appointed prior to being formally incorporated by Companies House. The appointment of the company directors is for Fire and Rescue Authorities in each region.

The Fire and Rescue Service National Framework 2006-08 set out target dates for the establishment of local authority controlled companies to operate regional control centres. These were by 1 August 2006 in the South West, East Midlands and North East; by 1 January 2007 in the West Midlands, North West and South East; and by 1 May 2007 in Yorkshire and Humberside and the East of England.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government when she expects the staffing model to be produced for each of the regional control centre companies; what change in job numbers she expects to result from the transition to regional control centres; and how many temporary staff are currently employed in each region. (146738)

The staff numbers contained within the latest version of the business case, published on 14 June, are outlined in the following table, together with current control room staffing levels. The numbers include control room operators as well as data and gazetteer specialists and operational managers. The actual number of staff employed by each regional control centre (RCC) will be for the RCC company to determine.

Current FRS control rooms 2005-06

Planned RCC numbers

East Midlands

125

81

East of England

147

85

London

112

114

North West

200

103

North East

107

76

South East

266

93

South West

155

85

West Midlands

150

91

Yorks and Humb

143

86

Total

1,405

814

All numbers are in terms of full time equivalents. For staff who are unlikely to be able to transfer to an RCC, FRAs have been encouraged to find alternative jobs, and where appropriate, to provide retraining. Costs of redeployment and retraining will be borne by the Department, within reason. The Department seeks to avoid compulsory redundancies where possible.

The staffing model assumptions are being reviewed. The indicative staff numbers for each regional control centre resulting from this review will be made available by the end of October 2007.

We do not have information on numbers of temporary staff employed within each region.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if she will place the business case for the Fire Control Project in the Library. (146739)

Version 1.0 of the FiReControl Project’s Full Business Case was sent to Fire and Rescue Authorities on 8 June 2007. It was made available on the project’s website on 11 June. A copy has been placed in the Library of the House.