FIRE chiefs have slammed Government ministers over secrecy surrounding plans for centralising emergency control rooms.
Clr Robert Light, chairman of West Yorkshire Fire Authority, said: "The Office of the Deputy Prime Minister has agreed to consult all fire authorities on the outline business case for regional controls.
"But, staggeringly, it refuses to divulge any financial information, on the grounds of commercial confidentiality."
It was a cavalier attitude which was intolerable to the democratic process, he added.
The Government wants to see the 46 fire control rooms in England and Wales cut to just nine.
A new 999 centre for Yorkshire and the Humber is due to begin work in 2008.
Clr Light said members of all political parties on West Yorkshire's fire authority felt insulted.
"They are apparently not trusted with the kind of information they responsibly handle on a routine basis," he said.
Clr Light added that there was cross-party support in principle for regional control rooms, but not for the way the project was being driven nationally.
"If we are to be equal partners in this new venture it's essential we're given the fullest information possible, so we can make a meaningful contribution," he said.
"I have never known a so-called consultation exercise so flawed or to arouse such anger."
The Government is preparing to decide on the locations of the regional control centres. Fire minister Nick Raynsford has said there will be no decision until next March.