Fire Brigades Union

Fire Brigades Union

April 20, 2011 19:01 ET

FBU Condemn Release of Delegated Decision Report on Island's Fire Control Being Outsourced to Surrey Fire Service

ISLE OF WIGHT, ENGLAND--(Marketwire - April 20, 2011) -

MEDIA RELEASE: Embargoed until 00.01hrs, Thursday 21 April 2011

Fire Brigades Union officials have strongly condemned the release of the Delegated Decision Report, issued on Friday 15th April, which recommends the outsourcing of the answering of emergency fire calls to Surrey Fire and Rescue Service's control room in Reigate.

The decision would see Island council tax payers paying £216,000 for emergency 999 calls being answered by Surrey Fire and Rescue Service some 70 miles from the Island with the loss of vital local knowledge.

The paper invites comments from Councillors over a ten day period; however, with two weekends and two Bank Holidays in this period there are effectively only four working days to comment on the dangerous proposal.

The very people put at risk by the recommended decision, Island residents, businesses and visitors, are denied the chance to respond or comment on the report.

Pete Mawhood, Chair of the Isle of Wight FBU said "It is appalling and concerning that such a critical decision which could adversely affect public and firefighter safety is being forced through without meaningful dialogue with Island resident's, businesses, visitors and the FBU.

He added an invitation to the Cabinet Member for Fire and Community Safety, Councillor Barry Abraham, to delay the decision until such time as a meaningful meeting can take place between himself and the FBU over their concerns about the plans and the inaccurate report that the recommendation is based upon.

Regional and Isle of Wight FBU Officials will be available during the afternoon of Thursday 21 April for media and press interviews on the island; please contact us if you wish to arrange an interview:

Notes for Editors:

The Isle of Wight Council are proposing to close the Isle of Wight Fire Control Centre in Newport, Isle of Wight, with the calls answered by the Surrey Fire and Rescue Service Control (Reigate, Surrey).

Councillors were only given twenty-four hours notice of the additional items on the agenda for the Full Council meeting, including the issue of the Island's Fire Control Centre back in September 2010.

The Outline Business Case (September 2010) and Full Business Case (March 2011) were published and no consultation with island residents or businesses has taken place.

The latest delegated decision report (published Friday 15 April 2011) states that the cutover date for transfer to Fire Control Centre in Reigate, Surrey is 30 September 2011. The publication gave ten days for Councillors to comment, however, with two weekends and two bank holidays there are only 4 working days to comment in reality.

Documents attached.

Save Isle of Wight Fire Control Campaign website:

Contact Information

  • Isle of Wight FBU
    Pete Mawhood
    01983 525 121 (via Fire Control)

    Andy Cooper
    IOW Control Rep
    07889 182 762

    Paul Watts
    FBU Regional Control
    07917 065 869