A View From Middle England - Conservative with a slight libertarian touch - For Christian charity and traditional belief - Free Enterprise NOT Covert Corporatism

Monday, June 13, 2011

Regional fire centres cost £50,000 per day!

A regional fire centre in a time warp
I heard yesterday that the regional fire centres, nine in all and all closed down, are costing £50,000 per day in rent to landlords. The RFCs were the brainchild of John Prescott. Now they are a liability of huge proportions. The Coalition decided last year to shut these operational centres down, hoping to save money. But the small print of the New Labour deals means that the government is shelling out this cash for no other reason than a contractual one.

£50,000 could pay for a firefighter for a year and a bit. But the cuts mean that jobs go and the scarce resources left go to pay for empty properties. This sort of nonsense is rife in America with shopping malls lying empty bereft of shoppers. Factories left with flapping doors, rats taking up residence in places their parents could only have dreamed of.

One wonders how much more of this property lease back merry-go-round there is out there. A shrinking retail market, some towns with loads of shops closed. Is Southern Cross the tip of an iceberg, or just a one-off? I don't think the fiasco of the bank lending is over by a long chalk. In fact, a few more doors may be opening.


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