Have your say on proposed ‘combined fire authority’ with Southampton, Portsmouth and Hampshire

Although the decision to revamp the Isle of Wight Fire service has been delayed for a month, this separate issue will go out to public consultation.

Fire engine - IW Fire service name in full

This in from the council. Although the decision to revamp the Isle of Wight Fire service has been delayed for a month, this separate issue will go out to public consultation. Ed


The Isle of Wight’s senior fire officer is urging residents to have their say over plans to combine the Island’s fire service with neighbouring counterparts.

Full Council will consider a proposal to create a combined fire authority, which would cover Southampton, Portsmouth, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, on 21 March.

12-week public consultations
Any final decision would be based on a detailed business case and the outcome of two 12-week public consultations, one on the Island and the other in Hampshire.

The Island’s senior fire officer, Howard Watts, said:

“The Isle of Wight has a really strong, well equipped fire service that’s much loved by Islanders.

“I believe this can make it even better and it’s right everyone looks closely at the proposal.

“We’re really keen for residents to engage in the consultation process, to help influence the future of our service.”

Benefits to the Island
The council agreed to a project to explore creating a combined fire authority in February 2017.

Increasing resilience and capacity operationally, helping to make communities safer, have been identified by specialist officers as potential benefits to the Island.

Other advantages include aligning safety campaigns and giving more consistent safety messages to the public.

Members from all councils
The new combined authority would be made up of members from all relevant councils, who would make decisions on fire related matters.

It would build on the successful strategic partnership between the Isle of Wight Council and Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, which was set up in 2015.

Alternative precept
As part of the plans, the proportion of general council tax given to the fire service would be replaced by a separate precept, similar to the police.

A three-year capital investment of £940,000 towards fleet replacement and new equipment for the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service, as agreed in the 2018/19 budget, will not be affected by the plans, while the operational improvements proposed in the recent review of the fire service are not linked to this proposal.


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Tuesday, 13th March, 2018 5:22pm

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Filed under: Fire, Island-wide, Isle of Wight Council, Isle of Wight News, Top story

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3 Comments on "Have your say on proposed ‘combined fire authority’ with Southampton, Portsmouth and Hampshire"

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Phil Jordan
For further clarity perhaps. Hampshire is already a combined Fire Authority and has been since April 1997. It is combined with Portsmouth and Southampton. The proposals are for the Isle of Wight Fire Service to cease autonomy and become part of the existing Hampshire Combined Fire Authority. The language being used is suggestive of a *new* Fire Authority approach which will see Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton joining… Read more »
electrickery
Integration of IW with Hants Fire Service is proposed, but the benefits listed seem thin to put it mildly (cross-training opportunities and shared publicity seem to be the limit of it). After all, we can hardly share front-line resources. We need to see a much stronger case for integration before we place ourselves as the poor relation in a mammoth organisation. It’s difficult to see how the… Read more »
Colin
It would appear to be more about saving money for the Island to join in with the mainland. I wonder how this will fit in with our leaders plans for an all -island hub? I think there needs to be a bit of joined up thinking and a proper plan there or just consign that little wheeze to the bin. With the so-called Southern powerhouse back on… Read more »