January 2021 eNewsletter - FiRELiNK
Welcome to the January edition of the Cheshire Fire and Rescue Service e-Newsletter.
2021/2022 Precept Engagement
Cheshire Fire Authority is seeking residents views on its plans to increase its share of council tax (called its precept) for the 2021/2022 financial year.
How are we funded?
The Authority receives the majority of its funding through Council Tax. It also receives grants from central government and some funding through business rates.
The Authority levies its share of council tax on properties across Cheshire. This precept currently stands at £79.29 per year for a Band D property. You may pay more or less than this amount depending on the council tax banding of your own home.
For 2021/2022 we are proposing to increase our precept by 1.99%. This would see our share of council tax increase by £1.58 to £80.87 per year for a Band D property.
Why are we proposing this?
The Authority’s plans up to 2024 are set out in its Integrated Risk Management Plan 2020-2024. This is an ambitious plan that will improve how we provide cover across Cheshire to respond to fires and other emergencies. Within this plan we also detail our plans to modernise many of our premises. This is to ensure our older fire stations across Cheshire can meet modern standards and be fit for the future.
The Authority also has ongoing capital requirements such as replacing fire engines and equipment as necessary. Since 2014, the Authority has received no capital funding from central Government so must meet all of these needs through its own revenue budget.
The forecasts in our Medium Term Financial Plan assumes that going forward we will receive no, or very small, increases in the funding we receive from Government. This will not be sufficient to cover additional costs such as inflation, so we need to bridge the gap ourselves.
The Authority has been fortunate to receive some funding from Government to help with the impact of Covid-19 on our services. This has enabled us to make temporary changes to our operations to keep our staff safe and available to respond to fires and other emergencies; and to provide assistance to the NHS and local partner agencies in the community by delivering thousands of prescriptions, food parcels and other essentials to those in need.
However, we are also affected by the impact of Covid-19 on our partner local authorities; for instance if local authorities collect less council tax or business rates income than they originally expected. The way the Authority is funded means that we are also liable to make up some of this shortfall if less income is received than was originally forecast.
Let us know what you think
Between now and 28 January 2021 we are seeking the views of residents on our proposed increase in our share of council tax. Please let us know what you think by completing a short online survey, which you can access through the link below.
Complete our short online survey
Alternatively, you can provide your views by emailing email@example.com, 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).
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Last updated: Monday 18 January 2021