§ Mr. Waterson
To ask the Secretary of State for Transport, Local Government and the Regions (1) if he will state the estimated cost of the administration of Best Value in the fire service in the last financial year; 157W
(2) how much public money has been allocated for administrative costs associated with Best Value in the fire service in the forthcoming year. 
§ Mr. Raynsford
Fire total standard spending was increased by 3.5 per cent. to £1,463 million for 2001–02. The settlements took account of information on spending pressures provided by the local authorities Fire Service Expenditure Forecasting Group. Best Value administration was not identified as a separate significant pressure in the group's most recent report. Information on overall costs for the fire service is not held centrally. The scale of costs is likely to be different for county fire authorities compared with single-service fire authorities, like East Sussex, which are Best Value authorities in their own right. Additional items of expenditure for single-service fire authorities include publication of Best Value performance plans and distribution of summary plans to local households.