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Council tax precept frozen for another year

25 February 2014

The contribution made by residents towards the running costs of Humberside Fire and Rescue Service will be frozen for the fourth successive year, despite a large reduction in income from the Government’s grant funding.

Payments from the Government to Humberside Fire Authority have been reduced by 27 per cent over five years but financial savings mean the Authority have been able to avoid an increase to the precept, which is the money raised from households as part of Council Tax bills. The decision was made at a Fire Authority meeting on 17 February, where Members reviewed the annual savings of more than £5m per year which have already been put in place, along with details of further changes which will result in cost reductions of a further £2.5m a year. Members also discussed the performance of HFR Solutions, the Authority owned community interest company, which is making a significant contribution to some areas of the Service’s work, reducing pressure on budgets. Cllr John Briggs, Chairman of the Humberside Fire Authority said: “Officers have been planning for the current financial situation since 2009 and have implemented efficiency changes early enough to cope with the grant reductions without compulsory redundancies.
“The Fire Authority’s priority would always be to provide an excellent service to the community and ensure the safety of firefighters. “We are very proud of the service we provide to our communities and I am pleased that we have been able to do that without increasing the cost to hard-pressed council tax payers again this year,” Cllr Briggs said.