1. ITV Report

Millions of pounds of taxpayers' money 'wasted'

Hilary Benn Photo: ITV News

The Shadow Cabinet Minister Hilary Benn has called on the government to use the centres, which were scrapped after the last election.

Mr Benn, who is responsible for Labour's policy on local government, says the abandoned West Midlands fire control centre in Wolverhampton is costing taxpayers £1.4 million a year in lease and maintenance charges

"It has round the clock security and the lights are on all the time.

It should be used."

– Hilary Benn MP
West Midlands Fire Control Centre is on a business park in Wolverhampton Credit: ITV Central News

The centre in Wolverhampton was supposed to bring West Midlands, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Warwickshire and Herefordshire under one roof but was scrapped when the coalition government came to power.

Fire Control Centre at Castle Donington, Leicestershire Credit: ITV Central News

Another super centre was built in 2007 in Castle Donington, Leicestershire and was supposed to be the operational nerve centre for Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Lincolnshire and Northamptonshire fire and rescue brigades.

It has never been used.