If you followed OnTheWight’s live coverage of the Cabinet meeting last night you will have seen that members voted unanimously in favour of the plans of the ‘shift realignment’ for the Isle of Wight Fire & Rescue Service.
Once the unanimous vote had been taken, the 30+ firefighters that watched the meeting got up and left.
Update: Read Cllr Outlaw’s comments following the meeting
“A done deal” and “A stitch-up”
OnTheWight spoke with several firefighters after the meeting and comments in response to the decision included,
“Angry that this has gone through.”
“A done deal before the meeting.”
The Cabinet member has consistently stated that the changes are not driven by cost-cutting.
During the meeting the Leader of the Isle of Wight council, Dave Stewart, read out the recommendation of the Scrutiny Committee, which was to not make a decision until the report from Her Majesty’s Inspector had been received (apparently due in a matter of weeks).
When OnTheWight asked firefighters why did they thought the Cabinet weren’t prepared to wait for the HMICFRS report before making a decision, one firefighter told us,
“Tig knows what is in the report. He told us.“
Cllr Outlaw told OnTheWight,
“With regards to the HMI Report it is imminent but I have not seen sight of it yet. I did however have a 30 minute briefing from the inspectors before they left to give me their feedback.”
No change before report received: “Absolute bullsh*t”
During the meeting, Cllr Outlaw explained that no changes to systems will be made prior to the HMICFRS report being received and findings would be integrated into the process.
OnTheWight asked firefighters their reaction to that comment, one responded that it was, “absolute bullsh*t”.
Firefighters also said they presented the Cabinet member with at least two or three different ideas for shift patterns, but they were rejected.
Outlaw: Pleased with endorsment
Following the meeting Cllr Outlaw told OnTheWight,
“With regards to the Cabinet meeting, I am pleased the Cabinet endorsed the proposal to allow the Chief Fire Officer to realign service to give the Island community greater maximum cover for its whole time firefighter resource.
“I know the Fire Brigades Union have been critical of the plans, so I was surprised that they were not challenged publicly by them during the 15 minutes public questions and have instead used social media to criticise them.
“However I believe is important now that the service will be able to move on make the changes and show how professional and effective the service can be.”
The motion was presented by Cllr Tig Outlaw and seconded by Cllr Clare Mosdell.
All members of the Cabinet voted in favour of the motion:
12.11pm 14/10 – Responses from Cllr Outlaw added