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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Fire Service Council Tax Contribution to Remain the Same

10/02/2014

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Authority has today agreed not to increase its council tax precept from April 2014.

 "For the fourth consecutive year residents will pay just £1.30 per week, which we feel is a small price to pay for the professional service the organisation provides. 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."

Chairman of the Fire and Rescue Authority Councillor Len Bloomer

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: "As people continue to feel the pinch we’re sure that the local community will welcome the news that their council tax contribution to Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service will remain the same. For the fourth consecutive year residents will pay just £1.30 per week, which we feel is a small price to pay for the professional service the organisation provides. 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 (Settlement Funding Assessment), the details of which were announced in December 2013 as part of the Local Government Finance Settlement. This has resulted in a 7.4% reduction in Settlement Funding in 2014/15, which equates to £1.54m and provisionally a further £1.64m during 2015/16. The overall budget has been set at £41.5m, which is approximately £1m less than the previous year.

Chief Fire Officer/Chief Executive Peter Dartford added: "Although council tax will remain the same for local residents, as an organisation we do need to make £4m of savings over a three year period, this is in addition to the significant savings that we have already made. This is going to be extremely challenging, however we are optimistic and our workforce is at the heart of the process to identify efficiency savings.

"Importantly the savings we have already made and the savings we will look to make will ensure that there will be no compromise to the safety of our communities or our firefighters. We are confident that despite these difficult financial times we remain committed to our vision of ensuring Staffordshire is one of the safest places to be."