THE Fire Brigades Union (FBU) has urged Isle of Wight Council bosses to reject controversial plans for the fire service, warning it will put lives at risk.

Following a review, proposals include reducing the number of wholetime firefighters crewing an engine, from five to four, and cutting 15 per cent of the Island’s firefighting workforce. A decision on whether to approve the proposals was deferred at a council meeting last month, after safety concerns were raised.

Isle of Wight FBU secretary Spencer Cave said: “The scrutiny committee have decided on the evidence produced that they are not content with the plan.

“If the council goes ahead with this then it will prove there is no democratic process within the Isle of Wight Council.

“The Isle of Wight fire service is at the cutting edge with its firefighting techniques, equipment and training. Cutting crews and firefighter numbers would hamper the use of some of these resources and the safety of firefighters.”

The council’s scrutiny committee voted on Thursday, April 12, for the review to be rejected. However, the final decision will be made at a cabinet meeting tonight.

Local democracy reporter Megan Baynes will be tweeting live updates from the meeting. You can follow her @megbaynes