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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Fire Service Council Tax Contribution to Remain the Same

14/02/2012

CFO Peter Dartford & Cllr Bloomer

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Authority have today agreed not to increase council tax from April.

"For less than the cost of a coffee on the high street each week the residents of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire can be confident that we can continue to provide them with an excellent level of service."

Chairman of the Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor Len Bloomer

The Authority will take advantage of a three per cent Government grant offered to those authorities which freeze council tax in 2012/13.

B and D council tax payers will continue to pay just £1.30 per week towards the fire and rescue service – an annual contribution of £67.64.

Chairman of the Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor Len Bloomer said: "The grant incentive offered by the Government has allowed us to freeze council tax for a second year running. For less than the cost of a coffee on the high street each week the residents of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire can be confident that we can continue to provide them with an excellent level of service.

"We are already one of the lowest costing authorities per head of population in the country, yet we remain one of the highest performing and so providing good value for money is always at the forefront of our minds". Alongside the Council Tax the Service also receives a Government grant, the details of which were announced in December 2010. There will be a slight increase in the grant in 2012/13 however the Service has already implemented plans for 2013/14 and 2014/15 when significant reductions in funding are expected.

Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive Peter Dartford added: "Based on the grant reductions expected from next year, we have projected that we need to make savings of £4 million by 2015. Two-thirds of these savings have already been identified through more efficient ways of working. Importantly the savings we have identified ensure that community and firefighter safety is maintained."