Zero tolerance: the Fire and Rescue Services Bill has started on its path through Parliament. This legislation, designed to shape the Service of the future, has been long in coming. The FBU sincerely hopes that by the time it receives Royal Assent, the law will have been drafted in a way that enables fire authorities to meet the great many challenges on the horizon.(Comment)

Unfortunately the first signs are not encouraging. The Bill has addressed Few--if any--of the criticisms we and others have made of the white paper. While the Government is to be commended for placing a new emphasis on fire safety, let us be frank, 5 million [pounds sterling] extra each year for three years for such a major initiative is pathetic.

It is right and proper to put on a modern statutory footing the wide and expanding range of tasks--from responding to road traffic accidents and chemical spills to flood and river rescues--required of the Fire Service. But let us not forget that firefighters and emergency fire control staff a[ready carry out these activities on behalf of the public. …

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