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Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Fire service Council Tax will increase by 1.95 per cent

16/02/2015

Operation incident
Fire engine

Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Authority has today agreed to increase its Council Tax precept by 1.95 per cent from April 2015.

"We firmly believe that we have produced a balanced budget and have kept the increase as low as possible while continuing to be in the position to provide first class emergency response cover as well as carrying out vital prevention work within the community. We are confident that the weekly increase of just 2.5 pence for the average Band D property will ensure that the safety of our residents and firefighters is not compromised, and that our vision of making Staffordshire one of the safest places to be can continue to be fulfilled." 

Chairman of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Authority Councillor Len Bloomer

This will see tax payers living in Band D properties pay 2.5 pence more per week – an annual contribution to the fire and rescue authority of £68.96.

Chairman of Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Authority Councillor Len Bloomer said: "We have worked very hard to keep residents’ Council Tax contributions at the same level for four consecutive years but, with savings of £1.6 million to be made during the next financial year, we feel that an increase of 2.5 pence per week for the average Band D property is a small price to pay for the excellent service the organisation provides. We continue to be a low cost authority in terms of per head of population while at the same time being one of the best performing fire and rescue services in the country with the number of incidents reported falling year on year."

Alongside the Council Tax the Service also receives a Government grant (Settlement Funding Assessment), the details of which were announced in December 2014 as part of the Local Government Finance Settlement. This has resulted in a 8.8 per cent reduction in Settlement Funding in 2015/2016, which equates to £1.75 million.

The overall budget has been set at just over £41 million, which incorporates a £1.6 million savings target.The increase in council tax will raise an additional £429,000.

Councillor Bloomer added: "We continue to face challenging times as a fire and rescue service and need to save £4 million between 2014 and 2017 with a saving of £4 million already achieved since 2010.

"We firmly believe that we have produced a balanced budget and have kept the increase as low as possible while continuing to be in the position to provide first class emergency response cover as well as carrying out vital prevention work within the community.

"We are confident that the weekly increase of just 2.5 pence for the average Band D property will ensure that the safety of our residents and firefighters is not compromised, and that our vision of making Staffordshire one of the safest places to be can continue to be fulfilled."