A meeting is taking place this afternoon after an extra ordinary meeting took place on the 12th April where members of Isle of Wight Council scrutiny committee voted against a fire safety review claiming that it would leave the public at risk if the proposals went through. Members of the Isle of Wight cabinet are due to vote on the papers before them this evening. One councillor has refused to vote on the paper as they believe that the public are likely to be put at risk. Council leader Dave Stewart himself has refused to vote on the paper as he believes that the council have not been given a full picture and the paper needs more work to be done on it.
The Isle of Wight Council’s cabinet has rejected the controversial plans to change how the Isle of Wight fire and rescue service operates.
Following on from the scrutiny committee’s recommendation to reject the paper, the cabinet has thrown out the proposal over a number of public safety concerns. Seven members voted to reject the paper, one member chose not to vote and one abstained.
For now things will remain as they are, but it was proposed to have three fire engines ready to mobilise at 90 seconds notice in Ryde, Sandown and Newport for twelve hours a day. If the plans were given the green light tonight, the other 12 hours of the day would have been covered by one fire engine in Newport with retained crews providing additional cover.
One of the biggest proposed changes to cause concern has been the drop in the number of firefighters (or ‘riders’) on an appliance. Each fire engine currently has a crew of five but it was suggested that pumps would mobilise with a crew of just four.
All ten fire stations on the Island will remain open. An ‘alignment of resources’ will not go ahead until at least January 2019.
Speaking after the meeting, Dave Stewart said that “they where right to reject the paper. We are not rejecting the review. Public safety is our number one priority. More Work is going to be needed to move this forward. The paper has been rejected.