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Last Updated: Thursday, 10 March, 2005, 14:27 GMT
'Make public' fire merger plans
A fire service control room
Seven control rooms in the South West would merge
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has criticised the government for delaying an announcement about the location of a South West Regional Fire Control Room.

The government is currently considering the merger of call centres into wider, "more efficient" regional units.

Under these plans all seven of the county-based fire service control rooms in the South West would merge.

The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister (ODPM) told BBC News that "no final decision" had yet been taken.

'Public decision'

The FBU says the government is delaying the announcement until after the General Election.

Under the plan, fire services in Dorset, Wiltshire, Gloucestershire, Avon, Somerset, Devon and Cornwall would be run from one control room.

South West regional official John Drake said: "The FBU calls upon the government to make public the decision it has made in private.

"The people in the South West have a right to know where the government plans to locate these call centres, not just in the South West but nationally."

The statement from the ODPM said: "Once the contracts are finalised we will ensure people are told as soon as possible.

"We are aware of how important this is to control staff, and informing them will be a major part of a location announcement plan."

Fire control rooms to be merged
16 Feb 04 |  England
Fears over fire control room merger
15 Jan 04 |  Berkshire

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