§ Mr. Hardy
asked the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) if the South Yorkshire fire service is under 517W strength; what recruitment will be required to reach the necessary establishment; and if such recruitment will be possible after 1 April;
(2) if he is satisfied that the South Yorkshire fire service will be able to maintain services which are up to national standards, to man appliances to the same standards and to ensure that fire appliances will be available as required at all times from 1 April.
§ Mr. Giles Shaw
The latest information available to me about the notified establishment (uniformed including control staff) of the South Yorkshire fire service was 1,218 whole-time posts at 1 January 1985, against which there were 94 vacancies at the end of 1985. The retained (that is part-time) establishment was 236, and there were 121 vacancies. Under paragraph 4 of the Fire and Civil Defence Authorities (Establishment, Support Services and Management Schemes) Regulations 1985 the South Yorkshire fire and civil defence authority will be consulted shortly about its establishment scheme for 1986–87, including its plans for recruitment.
The maximum precept for 1986–87 prescribed in accordance with section 4(1) of the Rates Act 1984 should enable the authority broadly to maintain the existing levels of service. We expect it to meet the nationally recommended standards through efficient use of the available resources.