Fire Brigades Union

Fire Brigades Union

December 22, 2010 03:21 ET

FBU Welcomes Decision to Scrap Regional Fire Control Project

GATESHEAD, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - Dec. 22, 2010) -

North East news desks:

The release of a written ministerial statement by Fire Minister Bob Neill announcing the end of the FiReControl Project was welcomed by the Fire Brigades Union in the North East. The project that would have seen the four local emergency fire control rooms close and replaced with one regional call centre in Durham has been terminated with immediate effect following acceptance by Government and the main contractor Cassidian (formerly EADS) that the requirements of the project cannot be met. This decision follows years of delays and missed deadlines, together with spiralling costs.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) refused to accept claims made by Government that the project would lead to greater resilience, cost savings and improved efficiency. Over the past 7 years fire service professionals within the Union have expressed concerns at the deliverability of such a project and believed claims of such benefits were exaggerated.

In his announcement on the 20th December, the Fire Minister identified that "progress on the project had caused serious concerns", earlier in the year the Minister had made it clear to the main contractor that the IT system had to be delivered to time, cost and quality.

What is apparent from this announcement is that project requirements were not going to be fulfilled by Cassidian.

North East FBU Regional Secretary Pete Wilcox said "Common sense has finally prevailed and we will now see an end to good money being thrown after bad. This project was never going to deliver on expectations and it is a decision that should and could have been made a long time ago. We have witnessed valuable tax payers money wasted on a project that should never have seen the light of day. The amount of money squandered on the regionalisation agenda for emergency fire control rooms could have been invested productively in the fire service resulting in real improvements to service delivery in the communities we serve. It is important that we now see a measured response by the Government and Fire and Rescue Services ensuring we see investment in a structure known to work, with solutions delivered that continue to ensure all fire services have suitable and effective mobilising systems. This will be a difficult challenge given the cuts agenda being imposed by the Government across the public sector but one we can not fail to meet."

Contact Information

  • Media contacts:
    Pete Wilcox
    Andy Noble