Communities and Local Government Committee

The Fire and Rescue Service

The Fire and Rescue Service

Terms of Reference:

The Fire and Rescue Service has undergone a period of unprecedented change over the last few years, especially since the publication of the Government’s White Paper, Our Fire and Rescue Service, in 2003 and the passing of the Fire and Rescue Services Act in 2004.

The Committee has agreed to undertake an inquiry to examine:

1. The implications for citizens and the Fire and Rescue Service of

a. the introduction of Regional Control Centres, and

b. the introduction of and implementation process for FireLink radio services;

2. the progress that has been made on Fire and Rescue Service reform since the publication of the Government’s White Paper of June 2003, Our Fire and Rescue Service, and the Committee’s Report on the topic, The Fire Service, of January 2004.  In doing so it will consider issues such as

a. fire prevention,

b. institutional arrangements and reform, including transitional arrangements and finance, and

c. promoting diversity within the Fire and Rescue Service; and

3. joint working between the Fire and Rescue Service and other emergency services.

During its deliberations the Committee will have particular regard to civil resilience as far as it relates to the Fire and Rescue Service.


The Fire and Rescue Service, Report together with formal minutes was published on 12 July 2006 as HC 872-I, Session 2005-06

Government Response:

The Government Response to the Committee's Report on the Fire and Rescue Service was published on 29th September 2006 as Cm 6919

Written Evidence:

The Fire and Rescue Service - A volume of written submissions was published on 23 March 2006 as  HC 872-II, Session 2005-06.

Oral Evidence:

Monday 30 January 2006 - 872-i

Witnesses: 4.40pm - Alun Evans, Director of Fire and Resilience, Sir Graham Meldrum, Head of HM Fire Service Inspectorate, Dave Lawrence, Head of Fire Service Improvement Team, and Marie Winckler, Head of Fire Service Effectiveness Division, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister; 5.20pm - Derek Chadbon, National General Secretary, Robert Cameron, President of the RFU and serving retained firefighter in Essex, and John Barton, Assistant General Secretary to the RFU, Retained Firefighters’ Union (RFU)

Tuesday 31 January 2006 - 872-ii

Witnesses: 4.40pm - Paul Young, Chief Fire Officer, Councillor David Browne, and Mrs Sue Smith, Deputy Chief Officer, Devon Fire and Rescue Authority; 5.10pm - Ms Valerie Shawcross, Chair, Ken Knight, Commissioner for Fire and Emergency Planning, and Ron Dobson, Acting Deputy Commissioner for Fire and Emergency Planning, London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority (LFEPA); 5.40pm - County Councillor Bob Wilkinson, Chair of Lancashire Combined Fire Authority, Peter Holland, Chief Fire Officer, and Chris Kenny, Director of Support Services, Lancashire Fire and Rescue Service, Lancashire Combined Fire Authority

Monday 6 February 2006 - 872-iii

Witnesses: 4.40pm - Fire Brigades Union (FBU); 5.20pm - Chief Fire Officers' Association (CFOA)

Monday 13 February 2006 - 872-iv

Witnesses: 4.40pm - UNISON; 5.00pm - Phil Wollas MP, Minister for Local Government, and Jim Fitzpatrick MP, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Office of the Deputy Prime Minister

Press Notices:

5/7/06    Publication of Report

02/02/06    Final Evidence Session

01/02/06    Third Evidence Session

23/01/06    Announcement of evidence sessions

8/11/05     Announcement of inquiry