Fire Industry Association meets with Conservative Shadow Spokesman on Fire
FIA delegates met recently with Stewart Jackson, Conservative Shadow Spokesman on Fire.
Discussions were based largely on those covered with the Fire Minister a few weeks earlier. The FIA held the meeting in order to determine as fully as possible future government policy on the FIA's primary concerns should the Conservatives come to power next year.
On third party certification and its contribution to the requirements of the Fire Safety Order, it appears that the Tories would not offer any formal support. Also, he confirmed that the ability for all fire and rescue authorities to trade in any function-related activity would not be rescinded by a Conservative administration but was sympathetic to the FIA's concern that should the situation evolve, there may be a market distortion that could adversely affect the private sector.
At the recent Tory party conference, Caroline Spelman called for greater localisation and independent decision-making at a local level. This approach may well influence Conservative policy in relation to issues such as enforcement of the Fire Safety Order and it appears that central government will play little, if any, role in achieving greater consistency across the country.
If the meeting was less encouraging than might have been hoped, there were some clear indicators of Tory policy in relation to fire safety and the FIA's specific interests. Should the Conservatives take power next year, the FIA's may need to respond to the possibility that some of the FIA's objectives requiring government support may be harder to achieve than they are now.
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