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November 2018
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Taxpayers foot the bill for catalogue of errors on new Fire HQs

A Labour-dominated Select Committee has today slammed Labour Ministers for their botched plans to regionalise the fire service. It declares that the project has -been inadequately planned, poorly executed, and badly managed and a -catalogue of poor judgement and mismanagement.

In 2004, John Prescott initiated the ‘FireControl’ project to regionalise England’s fire control rooms, which handle emergency calls for the fire services. Mirroring other bloated Government IT projects, it is massively over-budget and behind schedule. The costs have soared from £120 million to £420 million. Management consultants, PA Consulting, have received £37 million in fees despite the missed targets and soaring costs. The new London Control Room will not, as planned, be operational for the Olympics.

This comes as the fire levy on council tax bills has soared from £27 a year on a Band D bill in 1998 to £64 from 1 April 2010. Despite the fact that the Fire HQs are not operational, the Government has managed to kit each out with working £6,000 deluxe espresso machines -in beautiful polished chrome.

Shadow Minister for the Fire Services, Stewart Jackson said:

-Labour’s plans for these regional fire centres have been dysfunctional from start to finish. Yet again, Gordon Brown has wasted the public’s money on a botched and over-blown IT project. They can spend £420 million on the likes of deluxe espresso machines, but can’t fix the system to answer the phones.

-This is a scandalous waste of taxpayers’ cash. Such money could have been used to help keep council tax down or protect fire stations from closure. This is another example of how Labour wastes your money on white elephant projects and why we urgently need a change of government.

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