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PLAN FOR UNIFIED HQs FOR EMERGENCY SERVICES

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Pilot schemes for joint 999 call centres and shared buildings for the three emergency services were unveiled by the...
Pilot schemes for joint 999 call centres and shared buildings for the three emergency services were unveiled by the government yesterday as part of a£120m drive to improve emergency services.

The Independent (p7) reports that Jack Cunningham, the Cabinet Office minister, and Alan Milburn, chief secretary to the treasury, announced new projects aimed at saving the public time and money.

More than 30 schemes to encourage better co-ordination between different Whitehall departments and agencies over the next three years were unveiled under the government's Invest to Save programme.

Dr Cunningham revealed he will publish a white paper in the spring, setting out Labour's vision for 'radical modernisation' of public services.

The paper will spell out the need for more strategic long-term policy-making across departments, exploiting new technology to improve services and improving civil servants' performance through a new civil service management college.

Half the schemes announced yesterday are pilot projects to identify the scope for savings, which are said to be potentially 'quite substantial'. The other half are ready to start and are expected to save taxpayers about£50m over the next three years.

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