The Islands’ chief fire officer has condemned a report which criticises the fire service’s performance in responding to incidents.

Steve Webster told councillors that the assessment shows a “lamentable failure” to understand Scilly’s special circumstances and includes a number of errors.

The report, compiled by serving fire officers for the Department of Communities and Local Government, is based on the fire brigade’s operational self-assessment.

But it claims Scilly’s fire service “rated itself significantly higher than the review team’s findings”.

Mr Webster told the General Purposes Committee that he did not consider the assessors qualified enough to make a judgement.

He said they had never visited Scilly and just weeks before the assessment, had not understood or accepted that the Islands are a fire authority in its own right.

Mr Webster, who called the assessment one of the most frustrating processes he had ever been through, said the report highlighted areas for improvement which showed a lack of understanding of Scilly’s situation and “how this affects the delivery of services”.

He recommended to councillors that it was not wise to spend valuable time responding to the report “given the inability of the assessors to appreciate the position of the Isles of Scilly fire and rescue service’. Members approved the recommendation.