Isle of Wight cabinet back Combined Fire Authority plans

The Cabinet approve the plans to be part of a combined fire authority with Hampshire, Portsmouth and Southampton. The final decision will rest with the Home Secretary, and not expected to be made until the autumn.

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The council share this latest news. Ed


Plans to create a combined fire authority (CFA) for the Isle of Wight and Hampshire have been unanimously backed.

Members of the Isle of Wight Council’s Cabinet tonight (Thursday) voted in support of creating a new authority, which will be responsible for fire and rescue services on the Island and in Hampshire, including Portsmouth and Southampton.

Watts: Will build on the successful partnership
The Island’s senior fire officer, Howard Watts, said:

“The combined fire authority will build on the successful partnership already established between the Hampshire and Isle of Wight fire and rescue services.

“It will enable us to have a simpler governance process and provide access to more resources across both counties.

“The recent inspection by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate demonstrated we are safe and efficient on the Island and this decision will enable us to further improve what is already an excellent service.”

Public consultation
Tonight’s decision – members of the Hampshire Fire Authority also voted unanimously in favour of the plans earlier today – followed a 12-week public consultation.

Views were received from staff in both services and people across Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.

Outlaw: Will make us “more resilient”
Cllr Tig Outlaw, Cabinet member for public protection, said:

“We already share many aspects of the services with Hampshire and these were outlined in the recent report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate.

“The decision to move towards a combined fire authority will bring us even closer together, making us more resilient, alongside the other operational benefits it will bring.

“Ultimately this is about ensuring our fire and rescue service continues to keep people safe, both now and in the future.

“We will, of course, expect there to be proper and effective scrutiny of the work of a new combined fire authority.”

Apter returns as deputy chief fire officer
The move also follows the announcement of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight’s new deputy chief fire officer, Steve Apter, who worked in the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue for more than 25 years.

The final decision to create a new CFA rests with the Home Secretary, which is not expected to be made until the autumn.

Image: SurrryCC under CC BY 2.0

Thursday, 24th January, 2019 5:49pm

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

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