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Advertising and Public Awareness

Mr. Pickles: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what advertising campaigns and public awareness campaigns have been undertaken by his Department in each year since 1997, and what the cost was of each company. [83415]

Mr. Leslie: The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister was set up on 29 May 2002. Since then the Office has undertaken two advertising and public awareness campaigns: one for fire safety under the title 'Make Your Plan Get Out Alive' at a cost of £2.4m; and one to remind the general public to be extra vigilant about fire

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safety during the current industrial action by the Fire Brigades' Union, under the title 'Get out, stay out and call 999' with a budget of up to £1.8m.

For the total budget for the 'Fire Kills' campaign in this fiscal year, I refer the hon Member to the answer given to him on Tuesday 5 November 2002, Official Report, Hansard (column 196W).

The spend on the fire safety campaign in previous years is as follows:

YearActivitySponsoring Dept
2001/02Excuses kill (Smoke Alarms £1.7m). Cigarette Safety £1.95mDTLR
2000/01Fire Action Plan £3.3mHome Office
1999/2000Chip Pan safety £2.4mHome Office
1998/99General Fire safety £800KHome Office
1997/98Figures not available and could only be provided at disproportionate costHome Office

Brownfield Sites

Mr. Pike: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what plans he has further to encourage use of brownfield sites; and if he will make a statement. [83418]

Mr. McNulty: National planning policies encourage the reuse of suitable brownfield sites. Through Planning Policy Guidance Note 3 (PPG3) we have introduced new measures, including an urban brownfields first policy, to meet the country's housing needs in the most sustainable way. Planning policies for land recycling are backed by a package of fiscal measures to secure the regeneration and renewal of communities worth £1 billion over 5 years.

EU Structural Funding

Mr. Liddell-Grainger: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what plans there are to help with match funding in areas that receive Objective 2 funding. [83388]

Mr. McNulty: There are a large number of potential sources of match funding in Objective 2 areas. In addition to central Government programmes such as the Neighbourhood Renewal Fund, other sources are also available including the RDA single pot, local authorities, voluntary and community sector and private sector sources also provide match funding. A publication listing out the many sources of match funding is widely circulated by Government Offices.

Clearly as and when new Government programmes are introduced, they can provide additional sources of match funding for projects.

Fire Service

Mr. Andrew Turner: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister how many emergency calls in the last 12 months to fire brigades were related to (a) fires and (b) other incidents. [83254]

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Mr. Leslie: In 2000, the last year for which data are available, of the 1,135,000 emergency calls attended by UK fire brigades, 476,000 (42 per cent.) were related to fires and 658,000 (58 per cent.) were related to other incidents.

The other incidents category comprises false fire alarms (460,000 or 41 per cent. of all emergency calls) and special services incidents, including road traffic accidents and lift rescues (198,000 or 17 per cent of all emergency calls).

The figures shown here differ very slightly from those given in answers to two earlier parliamentary questions (Official Report, 21 October 2002, column 59W and Official Report, 19 November 2002, column 84W), as the Scottish Executive has subsequently supplied revised special service incident figures for financial year 2000–01.

Llew Smith: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what (a) statutory and (b) other role fire brigades have in relation to (i) risk reduction and risk management in relation to non-fire emergencies, (ii) community fire safety and fire reductions, (iii) fire safety enforcement and (iv) emergency preparedness against terrorist, biological, chemical, radiological and nuclear threats. [83255]

Mr. Raynsford: The roles that fire authorities have in relation to the activities listed include:

(i) Under section 3(1)(e) of the Fire Services Act 1947 a fire authority may Xemploy the fire brigade maintained by them, or use any equipment so maintained, for purposes other than fire-fighting purposes for which it appears to the authority to be suitable . . .". In the exercise of this power fire authorities take into account the deployment of resources to manage and reduce risk in relation to non-fire emergencies.

(ii) Among other duties of fire authorities under section 1(1) of the 1947 Act, section 1(1)(f) makes it a duty to secure Xefficient arrangements for the giving, when requested, of advice in respect of buildings and other property in the area of the fire authority as to fire prevention, restricting the spread of fires, and means of escape in case of fire". In addition, authorities undertake on a non-statutory basis such activities as fire safety education, community-based risk assessments, arson reduction initiatives and smoke alarm installation programmes.

(iii) Fire authorities currently enforce the Fire Precautions Act 1971 and the Fire Precautions (Workplace) Regulations 1997 as amended by the Fire Precautions (Workplace) (Amendment) Regulations 1999. Under the 1971 Act fire authorities are empowered to issue fire certificates that relate to categories of premises designated by the Secretary of State in two orders. The first covers hotels and boarding houses and the second deals with factories, offices, shops and railway premises Under the 1997 Regulations, as amended, fire authorities are empowered to assess the adequacy of the fire risk assessment made by an employer in respect of the employer's premises. Fire authorities are also consulted on the adequacy of fire precautions by local authorities, which are the enforcing authorities for licensing purposes and in respect of houses in multiple occupation.

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(iv) The Civil Defence (General Local Authority Functions) Regulations 1993 give the metropolitan fire and civil defence authorities, including the London Fire and Emergency Planning Authority, the function of assisting the boroughs in their emergency planning arrangements, specifically by assisting with training and exercises. The Control of Major Accident Hazard Regulations 1999 places fire and civil defence authorities under a duty to prepare and maintain emergency plans to deal with the off-site effects of a major accident. Fire authorities generally participate in co-ordinating emergency response with other agencies. In addition, under a Memorandum of Understanding between the Department for Transport, Local Government and the Regions and the Department of Health in January 2002, fire authorities were encouraged to secure effective co-operation with health service agencies on mass decontamination: each fire authority was asked to draw up a local agreement facilitating the delegation of operations from the local ambulance service.

Llew Smith: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether it is his policy that fire resources should be co-ordinated on a regional or sub-regional basis. [83256]

Mr. Raynsford: Fire services are provided locally by 50 fire authorities in England and Wales. We actively encourage wider collaboration, both between fire authorities and with other emergency services.

The Independent Review of the Fire Service under the chairmanship of Professor Sir George Bain will, as part of its terms of reference, inquire into and make recommendations on the future organisation and management of the fire service. We await the report which Sir George hopes to be able to publish in December 2002.

Miss McIntosh: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister if he will make a statement on the recent firemen's strike. [82219]

Mr. Raynsford: My right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister made statements to the House on 22 October, Official Report, column 125, 14 November 2002, Official Report, column 140, 21 November, Official Report, columns 885–86 and 26 November 2002, Official Report, columns 165–68. My right hon. Friend the Deputy Prime Minister will keep the House of Commons fully informed.

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister whether the terms of reference for the Bain Review of the Fire Service took into account the findings of the Pathfinder trials; and if he will make a statement. [82452]

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Mr. Raynsford: Yes. The terms of reference of the Independent Review of the Fire Service require it, among other things, to inquire into and make recommendations on the future organisation and management of the Fire Service to undertake the full range of responsibilities that are appropriate to it; to enable it to respond effectively to all the operational demands that may be placed upon it; and to enable the responsibilities of the Fire Service to be delivered with optimum efficiency and effectiveness.

The Fire Service needs to take an integrated approach to reducing and mitigating the risks from fires and other emergencies. Pathfinder trials have been undertaken in 11 brigades to develop working procedures and to assess the practicality and cost of implementing risk-based fire cover and greater flexibility of response. The findings of the trials have been made available to the Review.

Mr. Sanders: To ask the Deputy Prime Minister what assessment he has made of fire cover requirements where the risk to life is rated higher than that to property, before establishing the Pathfinder trials. [82454]

Mr. Leslie: No such assessment could be made. The Pathfinder trials were commissioned to see what would be involved in practice in moving to a risk-based system of fire cover. The methods of risk assessment were developed as part of the trials, not before.

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