n concerns Clr Robert Light
THE Government pledged to increase the number of women and people from black and ethnic minorities in the fire service as it pressed ahead with plans to build new control centres.
But the plans to replace 46 centres in England with nine sites have come under attack from the Fire Brigades Union and from Kirklees Council leader Clr Robert Light.
He attacked a decision by the West Yorkshire Fire Authority to sell off the county's planned control base.
Fire Minister Angela Smith said a new communications system to be installed in the centres would save lives and deal more effectively with emergency calls.
But Clr Light, the former Leader of the West Yorkshire Fire Authority, and current Leader of Kirklees Council, has blasted the sale of the Fire Authority's Regional Control Centre (RCC) to another private company.
Evans Randall, a private investment banking group, have bought three RCCs, including West Yorkshire's, before the WYFA have even moved in.
Clr Light said: "It is unbelievable that the RCC has been sold.
"There was a great deal of opposition to these control centres which were forced on us by the Government under a private finance initiative, because the scheme has a multitude of unresolved issues for Fire Authority's.
"Now to find they are to be sold from company to company just brings a market trader mentality to these facilities which are supposed to be at the cutting edge of the countries resilience against terrorist attacks."