skip to content

Staffordshire Fire & Rescue Service - Preventing, Protecting, Responding

Chief Fire Officer - safety is the priority despite the cuts

04/01/2015

Staffordshire’s Chief Fire Officer has pledged that the safety of residents and crews will remain paramount despite a funding cut of more than £1.43 million in the next financial year.

"We anticipated cuts and have planned our finances accordingly to ensure that we can meet the needs of our communities, both in terms of frontline firefighting and vital prevention work which has played an important role in helping to reduce incidents, and ultimately, save lives."

Chief Fire Officer Peter Dartford

The commitment not to ‘cross the two red lines’ comes in the wake of a Government announcement on funding.

The Service has been told its Revenue Support Grant (RSG) will fall to £8.04million in 2016/2017 compared to £9.47million in 2015/2016.

Further incremental reductions will follow year on year until 2019/2020 when the Service will have seen its RSG decrease by £4.8 million in total. The Government has assumed within the draft finance settlement document that the Fire and Rescue Authority will increase Council Tax every year in order to partly mitigate this reduction.

Chief Fire Officer Peter Dartford said: "As the Government continues with its austerity measures, in Staffordshire we are continuing to balance the books in a careful and considered manner, while ensuring that our firefighters and residents are protected.

"We anticipated cuts and have planned our finances accordingly to ensure that we can meet the needs of our communities, both in terms of frontline firefighting and vital prevention work which has played an important role in helping to reduce incidents, and ultimately, save lives.

"However, the Government’s announcement will see reductions implemented on a faster scale than we had envisaged. This means that the transformation of our Service will continue to remain a key priority in the coming years to enable us to deliver the significant savings required as part of the austerity agenda.

"We will always explore innovative ways of reducing spending, either by internal means or through collaboration work with our partners, while providing the most efficient and effective fire and rescue service possible. However, we will never put our crews or our communities at risk for any amount of financial saving."