New government, new association ... who's listening? The fire protection industry and government came together late last year in one of the liveliest fire seminars in recent years. Sponsored by the All-Party Parliamentary Fire Safety and Rescue Group and supported by the Fire Industry Association, the event covered the whole range of fire protection issues.(Parliamentary Report)(Conference news)

THE SEMINAR WAS TOUTED AS AN opportunity to develop new policies and fresh links with government. That will only happen, one suspects, if such meetings are allowed to continue in the same climate of open and honest exchanges. Highlights included:

* UK Fire plc has been let down by government indecision over export funding, reported Wilf Butcher, Fire Industry Association Export Manager. Mr Butcher's closing comments were most pertinent to the day's proceedings when he told delegates: "Wise is the government who listens to that which it doesn't want to hear."

* FIRE correspondent Mike Fordham and the Federation of British Fire Organisation's Secretary Ronnie King bemoaned the Integrated Clothing Project's roll-out and Firebuy's lack of clarity of key procurement issues.

* To get the ball rolling Fordham even challenged London Fire Brigade Commissioner Ron Dobson on the emphasis on firefighter safety. …

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