“Have your say” is the message from Hampshire Fire and Rescue Authority (HFRA), which is considering the creation of a new combined fire authority for Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth and Southampton.
The public are invited to give their views on the proposal during a 12-week consultation process. After this, the views will go back to HFRA and Isle of Wight Council for consideration on whether or not to submit an application to Government to form a new combined authority.
The final decision will rest with the Home Secretary.
Hampshire’s fire authority gave the green light to proceed with the consultation on June 13, with the Island’s Cabinet agreeing to the plans the following day. Consultation is also taking place on the Island at the same time with the new body bringing together the authorities of Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Southampton and Portsmouth.
A spokesperson for HFRA said “It is important that people have their say as this will inform decisions. There are numerous ways for people to take part before the deadline of October 26, 2018.”
Alternatively paper copies of the response form are available or people can call 023 8062 6815.
Translated, braille, audio and large print forms can also be obtained.
A final decision on the plans is expected in January 2019.
Cllr Tig Outlaw, Isle of Wight 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.”
Cllr 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.
“This consultation will give our community the opportunity to give us their views on this important matter.”