§ Mr. Jim Cunningham
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department on what factors the standard spending assessment for fire services is decided; and what plans he has to change them. 
§ Mr. Sackville
[holding answer 5 March 1996]: The fire standard spending assessment is distributed in England by means of a formula which takes into account 248W a number of factors including population, population density and fire calls. From 1996–97 it has been adjusted to include factors for firefighters' pensions and fire safety enforcement.
The formula is reviewed each year in consultation with local authority representatives and this process is about to start for 1997–98.