In conclusion, I will not, as the hon. Gentleman might have wanted me to, withdraw the funding for Cobra vehicles. I am very glad that he has put the record straight on that. The service asked for that funding. We were impressed with the project and the new technology, and I think that Corby will be better off for that £2.3 million. I suggest to the hon. Gentleman that if he agrees with the objectives of the More Fire Cover campaign, he might review his opposition to the new homes bonus and support it as a way of providing extra funding, from whichever authority it comes out. I also encourage him, if he values the local voice, as his innovative crowdsourcing debate seems to imply, to

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hold in high regard fire and rescue authorities and that local accountability that really does put local people in charge and in the driving seat for such local decisions. He might wish to reconsider his wish to centralise fire and rescue authorities. The consultation closed today, and it is not for me to decide what should happen.

Andy Sawford: On a point of order, Madam Deputy Speaker. I appeal for your advice. There have been repeated claims about my position on a range of matters. For example, it has been suggested that I would not support the expansion of Corby fire service—of course I would; and that I do not welcome additional funds for Corby fire service—of course I do. These claims have been made time and again. It might be orderly—this is where I seek your advice, Madam Deputy Speaker—but it certainly does not seem to be very parliamentary.

Madam Deputy Speaker: As I have said, the Minister is responsible for her own words at the Dispatch Box, and the hon. Gentleman has had the opportunity to correct the record. I remind the Minister that when she is standing at the Dispatch Box, she is answering for her responsibilities as a Minister. Any other observations we can hear at another time.

Penny Mordaunt: This is an incredibly important matter, as the start of the debate clearly outlined. There are serious concerns in Corby about some of the messages

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put out about the consultation, and it is important to set the record straight. There are many people with many different perspectives in the community putting forward solutions and ideas about how they can best protect their community. It is important to put that on the record and to state that there is no complacency either from the professional firefighting staff or the elected members of the authority, who take their duties seriously and by all accounts have a good track record on protecting their communities, as the statistics bear out.

There are clear choices and different visions emerging. It is a choice between protecting the local voice through fire and rescue authorities, and abolishing them and centralising decisions; between councillors who think it is important in an expanding town that fire stations be protected, and those who want to close them; between proposals to improve services and perhaps have a third appliance on the run, and the status quo; between using the new homes bonus, and not having that funding option; and above all else, between careful, thoughtful local leadership, coming up with solutions to these serious matters, and scaremongering and an abdication of responsibility. I trust the people of Corby to decide which vision for their future is best for them.

Question put and agreed to.

9.42 pm

House adjourned.