Fire

Tories lambast central control.(Conference Report)

Addressing delegates at the LGA Annual Fire Conference Fire Minister Nick Raynsford said the government had set a clear direction on important issues but stressed the need to maintain momentum. Objecting to overt government control, Shadow Minister Philip Hammond suggested there is a tremendous lack of clarity with the Secretary of State arranging central powers that "would have made Napoleon blush"

Speaking at the LGA's Fire Conference in Manchester at the end of February, Phillip Hammond MP,, Shadow Minister for Local Government and the Regions, hit out at the government's agenda for change, which he insisted, was a "Whitehall model of guidance and intervention over fire authorities."

While the Conservative's initially welcomed the government's response to Bain and the positive thrust of modernisation, the perceived shift in emphasis has alarmed the Tories, particularly the powers invested in the Secretary of State, "to change local authority arrangements at will."

A year ago Bain's proposals: focus on community fire safety, re-deployment towards risk based approach etc, were all welcomed by the opposition, he maintained. …

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