Fire services under scrutiny

FIRE chiefs in Suffolk were today studying more details about how well the government says they are performing.The Audit Commission revealed its national league table of fire and rescue services in England in February.

By Paul Geater

FIRE chiefs in Suffolk were today studying more details about how well the government says they are performing.

The Audit Commission revealed its national league table of fire and rescue services in England in February.

This showed that Suffolk's fire and rescue service improved adequately during 2006 after being rated fair during 2005.

Today's report shows that Suffolk scores three out of a maximum of four for improvements to the way it uses its resources - and for its overall effectiveness.

The report also shows that the fire service offers good value for money.

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The ratings were originally published as part of the Audit Commission's overall rating of council services which was published in February.

A spokeswoman for the county council said the figures gave further details of the report it had received in February.

She said: “We are pleased it shows that the fire service is performing adequately or well in all categories in this assessment and will be looking to improve further.”

Further details of other council services are expected to be published over the next few weeks.

Chairman of the Audit Commission Michael O'Higgins said: “Nationally, there are fewer fires, deaths and injuries than there have been for nearly 50 years.

“But there is still work to be done as fire and rescue authorities refocus their attention from reactive services towards preventative measures that stop fires happening in the first place.

“Many FRAs still have work to do if they are to provide better services that will protect communities and save lives.”

n. Have the fire service helped you? Do you think they could improve? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or email eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

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