Should our fire services combine with Hampshire?

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Island residents are being asked their views on plans for a new combined fire authority with Hampshire.

The Isle of Wight Council and Hampshire’s Fire and Rescue Authority (HFRA) are considering the formation of a combined fire authority for the two counties (including Portsmouth and Southampton).

The public are being invited to give their views during a 12-week consultation starting today (August 6).

The findings will go back to the Isle of Wight Council and HFRA for consideration on whether or not to submit an application to the government to form a new combined authority. The final decision will rest with the Home Secretary and is expected in January 2019.

Ruby the fire dog – Credit: Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service

Both the Isle of Wight Council and Hampshire approved a full consultation on the plans in June.

The new body, if approved, will bring together the governance of the two authorities.

There are a number of ways for people to take part before the deadline of October 26, 2018:

• A response form (including for views from Island residents) is available online at www.hantsfire.gov.uk/consultation or they can email hfrsconsultation@hantsfire.gov.uk
• Paper copies of the response form are available by calling 023 8062 6815.
• Translated, braille, audio and large print forms can also be obtained.

Councillor Tig Outlaw, cabinet member for public protection, said: “This is all about achieving what is best for our Island community, ensuring the future resilience of the service and the safety of our residents.

“This consultation will give our community the opportunity to give us their views on this important matter.”

Councillor Chris Carter, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority chairman, said: “This presents an opportunity to create a new arrangement, with potential to deliver significant operational benefits, greater resilience for both services and also help keep our communities even safer.

“The strategic partnership agreed between Hampshire and the Isle of Wight in 2015 has already brought many benefits to both services, as well as delivering better value for taxpayers. This proposal has the potential to bring us even closer together.”


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