Controversial changes to the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service have been put on hold.
The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) says under the Isle of Wight Council’s proposed plans we could see the whole of the Island covered by just four full-time firefighters overnight.
Following a recommendation from the scrutiny committee the Island’s cabinet members agreed to push decision making day back to April.
Some firefighters were calling for a public consultation but the leader of the Isle of Wight Council insists that’s not needed in this case.
Councillor Dave Stewart said:
“It was apparent at the scrutiny meeting that not all members had had the opportunity to read some accompanying papers. I don’t think the accompanying papers will add too much to the main report but I think my view, and the view of my cabinet colleagues, was that we should be fair and open and transparent, to let scrutiny take its course.”
Councillor Stewart added:
“I think we have a common understanding. I am certainly not going to be one that wants to put our firefighters at any undue risk. But I think change does come along – as it does for everybody – and we need to look at the new technology and how it’s going to be mitigated. I want to reassure our firefighters we have our interests at heart.”
LISTEN: Council Leader Councillor Dave Stewart speaking to Isle of Wight Radio’s Lauren Roberts about the fire service “revamp”.
Read more about the changes, and what the FBU and Isle of Wight Council have to say here.