Discussion to merge two fire services

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PLANS to merge two fire authorities are to be discussed by councillors.

A discussion will be held to see if Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service should combine its resources with the Isle of Wight Fire and Rescue Service, to create ‘enhanced’ coverage.

Isle of Wight Council said a partnership with Hampshire would provide ‘significant benefits’, and save almost £1.2m over the next three years.

The proposals will be considered at a full council meeting on January 21.

Councillor Phil Jordan said: ‘By sharing management expertise, we are able to retain all of our fire stations and maintain frontline firefighter posts, while enhancing services for residents.’

Subject to consultation, the council said the island’s current chief fire officer, area manager and group manager would be transferred to HFRS.