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Fire Services

Volume 506: debated on Wednesday 3 March 2010

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how much has been spent on (a) empty property business rates, (b) utilities, (c) rent and other accommodation costs and (d) security on each regional fire control room; and for how many months each has been empty. (319115)

I refer my hon. Friend to the answers I gave on 14 December 2009, Official Report, column 915W.

Utilities (up to end January)

£

North East

278,939

East Midlands

278,446

South West

161,170

West Midlands

254,603

South East

192,867

North West

152,083

Yorks and Humber

230,881

East of England

158,282

Rent and accommodation costs (up to end January)

£ million

North East

3.44

East Midlands

3.78

South West

3.60

West Midlands

2.86

South East

2.68

North West

2.28

Yorks and Humber

1.67

East of England

1.66

The cost of the 24/7 security provision for the Regional Control Centres is included as part of the fixed fees of the facilities management contract, as above. The contract provides a holistic facilities management service, including security, maintenance, soft-landscaping, cleaning and support services such as courier bookings, and the staff to carry out these functions. It is not possible to provide a further breakdown of just the security costs.

None of the buildings are empty. All the RCCs have staff based there full-time and they frequently host regional, project and FRS meetings. The RCCs are also being used for developing and testing systems and providing familiarisation and training activities.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government whether retained firefighters are eligible to apply for positions above that of station officer. (319287)

National guidance does not preclude retained firefighters from applying for positions above that of station officer.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government how many people were rescued uninjured from fires by the fire service in each of the last three years. (319426)

The latest three years for which data are available are 2006 to 2008. These are from the superseded fire data report forms which were in place until March 2009. Under this system, the numbers of people rescued but uninjured were recorded, but for reasons of economy, entry sampling was used such that full details of incidents for only one in five of those incidents that did not involve injuries were input to central databases.

Examination of the estimates from this database have shown that fluctuations in the estimates at fire and rescue service level, which occur as a result of the entry sampling, mean that only the following approximate national figure can be derived: the number of people rescued uninjured from fires by the fire and rescue service in each year between 2006 and 2008 is in the region of 1,500 to 2,000.

Details of incidents under the new incident recording system are entered electronically at source, thus CLG's databases of incidents from April 2009 will no longer be subject to entry sampling or the resulting limitations in estimates. Data for 2009-10 are scheduled for release in August.