Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Authority have today agreed not to increase council tax from April 2013.
"This is excellent news for the local community with council tax bills remaining unchanged for the third consecutive year."
Chairman of the Fire and Rescue Authority, Councillor Len Bloomer
The Authority will take advantage of a one per cent Government grant offered to those authorities which freeze council tax in 2013/14. Band 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: “This is excellent news for the local community with council tax bills remaining unchanged for the third consecutive year, and at £1.30 per week, this represents excellent value for the provision of the Fire and Rescue Service across the county. We are already a low costing authority in terms of our cost per head of population, and 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 2012 as part of the Local Government Finance Settlement, which has resulted in an 8.8% reduction in grant funding in 2013/14, which equates to £1.7m and a further £1.3m during 2014/15. In addition the Authority will also see the loss of £0.7m from the 2012/13 council tax freeze grant resulting in a total funding reduction of £3.7m over the next two years.
Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive Peter Dartford added: “The announcement of the Government grant levels for the next two years were very much in line with our expectations. Two-thirds of the savings we need to make have already been identified through more efficient ways of working and work is continuing to find how to reduce our costs further. Importantly, the savings we have identified will ensure that there will be no compromise to the safety of our communities or our firefighters.”