Service in a spin: time to take stock? As government forces the modernisation agenda at an astonishing pace, FIRE appeals for a time-out for consideration and reflection, otherwise a raft of issues such as public safety concerns, budgetary restrictions and employee stress may derail the whole process.(view)

'I was talking to some local authority representatives who expressed concern about the speed of progress and asked whether we could slow down and reduce the pressure for change ... but there is a major agenda that needs to be carried forward with energy ...', Fire Minister Nick Raynsford told parliamentarians during the Fire and Rescue Services Bill debate at the end of January. It is not just councillors who are concerned about the speed of change and the resultant pressure that brings: it is chief officers, middle managers, firefighters, fire safety stakeholders, manufacturers, even the very media that has pressed for progress.

'In the past, important proposals for change did not necessarily receive the priority and the sense of energy that they deserved', Mr Raynsford told parliament. …

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