Fire service seeks views on proposed council tax rise

CHESHIRE Fire Authority is asking the public to give their views on its plans to increase its share of council tax for the 2021/22 financial year.
The authority is proposing an increase of 1.99 per cent taking the cost per year to £80.87 for a band D equivalent property.
The precept currently stands at £79.29 per year for a band D property.
Chairman of Cheshire Fire Authority Cllr Bob Rudd, said: “The £1.58 per year council tax increase we are proposing will assist the service in responding to incidents and help keep residents in Cheshire safe.
“Since 2014 the Authority has not received an annual capital grant from the government and we assume that going forward the Authority will receive no, or very small increases, in central government funding.
“This means we would not be able to cover ongoing costs such as inflation. Instead the Authority has to find other ways to balance its budget in a way that still ensures the safety of the community.
“The proposal we are putting forward will help the Authority to deliver the objectives within its Integrated Risk Management Plan 2020-2024.
“This will improve how we provide cover across Cheshire to respond to fires and other emergencies. It would also help us continue with our plans to modernise many of our premises to ensure older fire stations across the county can meet modern standards and be fit for the future.
“I greatly welcome the views of the public before going ahead with any proposals and encourage people to fill in the survey.”
Chief Fire Officer Mark Cashin said: “The Authority’s Integrated Risk Management Plan is an ambitious plan to improve the spread of fire cover across Cheshire and how we respond to a range of emergencies.
“However, the financial outlook is very uncertain and it is likely that some savings will be required over the next few years.
“While this increase will help the service to deliver its plans, officers will continue to review our budgets to ensure we are as efficient as possible and that spending is directed towards the service’s priorities.”
Please let us know what you think by completing this short online survey https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CheshireFireBudget2021
Alternatively, you can provide your views by emailing consultation@cheshirefire.gov.uk, contacting us on social media through our Facebook or Twitter pages, telephoning 01606 868700 or in writing to Freepost Cheshire Fire Consultation (no stamp required).
Further information can be found on the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service website www.cheshirefire.gov.uk
The consultation will close on January 28.

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