Friday, January 23, 2009

Fire Authority Meeting

The London Fire & Emergency Planning Authority held their monthly meeting yesterday.


The budget is coming together after Labour and Lib Dem members signed up to the majority of a package of proposed savings. The agreed steps now include:

Introduction of mobile technology and electronic fire safety case files, saving £692,550.

Removing the central team of operational photographers, saving £188,224.

Restructuring the planning, risk and programme support office, saving £95,864.

Merging the interagency liaison group manager, saving £76,511.

Reducing call volumes in the home fire safety visit call centre, saving £66,804.

Increasing the Brigade's vacancy margin, saving £300,000.

National Fire Control Project

We heard the depressing news that yet another government IT project has fallen behind time and over budget. This time it is the project to introduce new fire and rescue service control rooms nationally.

The original business case envisaged a saving of £21 million nationally, but increased costs now mean that the savings have dwindled to £8 million, and this at a time when costs are falling, or rising more slowly, in relation to most capital projects. Liberal Democrat, Cllr Butcher, referred to this as a huge black hole in the finances, and for once he was not overstating his case.

More concerning is the revelation that the opening of the new London control centre has been put back to February 2011. With less than 18 months until the Olympics the timescale has suddenly become very tight. The best new technology needs time to bed in and the one thing we don't want during 2012 is a fire control centre hampered by bugs and gremlins.

The Blue Light Museum

Controversy over the future of the under used fire museum has led the Mayor to open an investigation into making the collection of memorabilia more accessible for Londoners. The idea is to combine several existing collections in one Blue Light Museum for the emergency services in London. This would comprise the London Ambulance Museum, currently at Ilford, a collection of vehicles held by the Metropolitan Police, and of course the famous Black Museum in the basement of Scotland Yard. Now that would be a museum worth visiting!


Rog T said...

Regarding the Blue Light museum, Do you agree with Brian Coleman's comment "Once you've seen one brass helmet, you've seen them all"?

I think the idea of consolidated museum is a great one. I was talking with a friend who suggested that this could take the form of an "interactive museum" with a theme of promoting home safety and educating youngsters about the work of the emergency services.

Roger Evans said...

"Once you've seen one brass helmet you've seen them all" - as my interest in regalia is minimal I can concur with this view...

The suggestion of using the blue light museum to promote safety more widely is a good one - provided we don't slip into nanny stateism, and that is so easy to do...

Rog T said...

Well I know this will sound strange coming from a swivel eyed trot like me, but if I were you, I'd franchise it out & get Disney or Tussauds groups (or someone of that ilk) to run it. Make it both fun & educational.

morris hickey said...

One could say that, with luck, once you've seen one Brian Coleman you've seen them all..........

Angry of North London said...

Once you have seen one Rog T rant about Brian Coleman, you have seen them all.

Rog T .. Get a life!

Rog T said...

"Angry of North London",

I hardly think my comments on this blog amount to a "Rant about Brian Coleman". There is a lot more to the work of the London Assembly than Brian. As Roger Evans writes a blog about his work on the London Assembly, it seems like a good forum to raise a few topics. I'm sure Roger enjoys a bit of input and banter which he doesn't necessarily agree with otherewise he wouldn't write a blog.

If you want to moan about my rants, why don't you do it on my blog where people might actually have a clue what you are on about?

Roger Evans said...

Enough already!

AdamB said...

How many Rog Ts are there? Sorry, I'm not helping.

Roger Evans said...

Adam, I don't think you come here to help...

Good news is that I've got a piece on Conservative Home today which you will enjoy - although it's not about London.

And how was Lembit??

Angry of North London said...

Rog T - your comments everywhere are a rant, either against Brian Coleman or anyone else you dont agree with.

Even when your wrong, you carry on ranting hoping you will out rant anyone else.

Angry of North London

martin said...


Not answering for Adam but we got some good feedback/comments on the blogging session which was very non-partisan (as you'd probably expect).

Rog T said...

Adam B,

How many do you want? I think some people will say one is quite enough.

Rog T (the original !)

Rog T said...

Any chance of a link to your piece on the Conservative Home which you mention ?

Rog T