Strategy to solve the jigsaw puzzle: as CFOA lead DCFO Olaf Baars, Royal Berkshire, is sure in support of the principles of FireControl "if they deliver improvements to Fire and Rescue Service response at affordable cost to authorities". However, in an exclusive interview with FIRE he expresses reservations on the development process.(Regional Controls)

"MY MAIN CONCERN (SHARED BY CFOA colleagues and elected members), is that it feels like it is being done to us not with us," Olaf remarks, qualifying the criticism with praise for the momentum provided by the ODPM. "There is a lot of goodwill to work with the ODPM to secure the outcomes we art want and I applaud them for grasping this and moving forward."

He points to last year's General Election as an indicator of the drive from the centre, when it could have been used as an opportunity to stall the project. However, the move forward has been compromised by stakeholder involvement. "There is a large degree of acceptance across the board on regional fire controls. The disagreement is on the way it is being done and local determination." At times, stakeholders were welcomed on board to shape projects, while at others it felt like "tokenism", he states. …

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