There is probably no service that needs to be more local than firefighting. Getting a fire tender to a fire in the shortest possible time has always meant that tenders are stationed in ones and twos or twos and threes in little packets strategically positioned to provide the swiftest response to the greatest number. It's not something that any sane person would think could be bettered. The overwhelming majority of - almost all - fire calls are for minor incidents that can be dealt with by a single tender. A very small number of larger or more serious fires and other incidents, 7/7 or Buncefield for instance, require tenders and appliances from much longer distances to attend.
All of this is currently adequately handled by some 46 fire control rooms. The lunacy that possessed Labour to imagine that 9 regional control centres were needed instead to co-ordinate the statistically insignificant number of major incidents is beyond comprehension. That Labour could manage to spend nearly £500m on the scheme, that it could even get beyond a gateway review at the £100k stage, is testament to the insane scramble to centralise every single aspect of the State under Labour without rationale, reason or rhyme. If an average taxpayer pays £10k a year in tax, the waste represents a year's payments from 50,000 taxpayers - the working cohort of an entire English county.
Yet not a single Labour ex-minister, not a single Labour MP, not a single Teflon Mandarin, is to stand in the dock to face charges of malfeasance and maladministration or misconduct in public office. Whilst these looters and despoilers get away scot-free, the common people are being jailed for not paying the TV Tax, or as Richard North is bravely documenting, under siege or having their homes violated by a class of licensed thugs and thieves. If Parliament had any balls at all, it would pass a Bill of Attainder against every ex-Minister and Teflon Mandarin with fingerprints on this Fire debacle and seize their homes, yachts, savings, pensions, cars and holiday cottages as a salutary lesson in the duty of stewardship of public funds.