HC Deb 17 March 1997 vol 292 cc413-4W
Mr. Sumberg

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which schemes submitted by fire authorities have been selected as private finance initiative pathfinder projects. [20743]

Mr. Sackville

I am delighted to announce that the following eight projects have been selected as pathfinders:

  • Fire Stations:
    • Cornwall County Fire Brigade
    • Lancashire County Fire Brigade
    • Greater Manchester County Fire Service
    • North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service
  • Training:
    • Avon Fire Brigade, Gloucestershire
    • Fire and Rescue Service and Somerset Fire Brigade (joint project)
    • South Wales Fire Service
  • Vehicles:
    • London Fire Brigade
  • Communications:
    • Northumberland Fire and Rescue Service

Each of these projects will receive up to £70,000 in financial assistance in 1997–98 towards consultancy costs incurred by the brigades in taking them forward. The experience of these pathfinder projects will also assist the fire service generally to take full advantage of the potential of the private finance initiative to help meet brigades' capital requirements.

A total of 21 projects were submitted by fire authorities for consideration for financial assistance as pathfinders. This was an excellent response and clearly demonstrates the willingness of the fire service to consider positively and imaginatively how private finance can help meet its needs. We shall continue to provide advice and assistance to all brigades in exploiting the initiative.