§ Mr. Mackinlay
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what powers he has to, and in what circumstances he can, hold a public inquiry into a fire authority's fire cover provisions and proposals. 
§ Mr. Sackville
My right hon. and learned Friend's approval is required under section 19(4) of the Fire Services Act 1947 when any reduction in the number of fire stations, fire appliances or firefighting posts in a brigade is proposed. Under section 19(8) of that Act, he may, for the purposes of his functions under section 19, hold such public local inquiries as he thinks fit. He also has certain other powers under the Act to order public local inquiries in particular circumstances.