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Fire Services

Volume 636: debated on Monday 26 February 2018

10. What recent assessment she has made of the correlation between trends in the number of firefighters and in fire service response times. (904002)

It is true that fire response times have increased gradually over the past 20 years, but over the same period the number of fires, fire-related fatalities and non-fatal casualties has decreased. There is no clear link between response times and firefighter numbers. As I am sure the hon. Lady will know, a range of factors influence response times, including changing traffic levels and call-handling policy.

Tyne and Wear fire and rescue service has the lowest per-incident spending power of any fire and rescue service. When do the Government intend to start to fund fire and rescue services based on risk, not just on demand?

Tyne and Wear will receive £47.7 million of core spending power in 2018-19. That is an increase of 0.8% compared with 2017-18. It also has £23 million of non-ring-fenced reserves, representing almost 50% of revenue.