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Council Tax rise helps secure financial future of Fire and Rescue Service

Council Tax rise helps secure financial future of Fire and Rescue Service

Date : 11 February 2016


East Sussex Fire Authority has agreed to increase Council Tax by 1.94% following a meeting on 11 February 2016.

The Authority has achieved a sound financial base in difficult times, with good progress made in identifying and delivering savings.

Funding from central government is still being reduced and the Authority has plans to deliver agreed savings of £1.9m in 2016/17.

However, increasing Council Tax by 1.94% will enable the Authority to balance the budget and ensure it is sustainable for the future as we continue our work to make our communities safer.

The increase means Band D Council Tax will increase by just 3 pence per week, to £86.72 a year. The Fire Authority’s net revenue budget has been set at £38.4 million.

This is funded from three main sources:

  • Council Tax (65%)
  • Government Grant (16%)
  • Business Rates (19%)

The main areas the Authority spends its revenue budget are:

  • Employees (74%)
  • Running expenses (25%)
  • Capital financing (3%)
  • Contribution to reserves (2%)
  • Offset in part by income and service specific grants (-4%)

Investing for safer communities

 

Fire Authority Chairman Phil Howson said:

“There is no doubt that the current financial climate has forced us to look again at how we serve our communities and there have been difficult decisions to make, but we are confident we have a way forward which secures our financial future.

We will be focusing on delivering those savings previously identified and working to ensure that public money is spent to the best effect. With this in mind the Service will be investing in transforming the way we provide our services.”

“We are extremely grateful for the support of our communities and remain committed to providing an excellent service that we can all be proud of. The Fire and Rescue Service has had notable success in driving down the number of emergencies it needs to attend through our work with the community and local businesses.

Ongoing projects include Safe and Well visits which provide a more holistic approach to community safety and develop a strong network with our partners throughout the Service area. This project has seen great success in Mile Oak, Brighton and we are now rolling the project out across the rest of the county, starting in Wealden.

This year we are also launching Safer Business training, free courses which aim to support and educate local business owners about mitigating the dangers surrounding fire and road safety, and the impact they can have on their business.”

During 2016/17 the Service will undertake a review of its Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP). The plan will assess risk and need in the community and will help the Authority to plan the most effective use of its resources in saving lives, improving public safety and reducing emergency incidents.

If you would like to get involved with the IRMP please email IRM@esfrs.org

Council Tax and Budget Information can be found in our 2016/17 Council Tax leaflet.



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