By Jonathan Isaby

Andrew Percy Commons At DCLG Questions yesterday, Andrew Percy, the Conservative MP for Brigg and Goole, called for more resource-sharing between the emergency services as a way of saving money. He told the House:

"It strikes me as a bit bonkers that many communities have separate fire, ambulance and police stations, many of which have been built recently. What is the Minister doing to encourage emergency services to work together to cut costs and to get rid of three lots of electricity bills and the such like? Also, what is he doing to ensure that they work together so that when one service is pressed, another can help and support it"

The Local Governemnt minister, Bob Neill, replied as follows:

"In fairness, a good deal of work is already being done at local level on closer collaboration and joint working between fire authorities and other emergency services, and I commend that. At the time of the settlement, I wrote to the chairmen of all fire and rescue authorities and their chief officers to set out the way in which closer joint working, collaboration, better procurement and the stripping out of back-office services could save money that could be made available to the front line."