Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue propose council tax rise

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Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority has launched a consultation on whether residents would support a 1.9 per cent increase to its proportion of council tax for 2017/18.

The rise would mean resident would have to pay an extra £1.17 for a Band D property.

The Fire Authority, over the last six years, has already made savings in excess of £5m following cuts to the grant it receives from Government and needs to find another £1.4m this coming year.

Chairman of the Fire Authority Sir Peter Brown said: “We are doing all we can to find the savings from within the Service and have looked at all areas of the Service to see where we can become more efficient. Over the last few years we have merged control rooms with Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service to save £400k a year, lowered the salary of the chief fire officer and lost a director post saving £231k, implemented a new shift system for firefighters that requires less people to provide the same cover saving £900k and reduced the number of support staff saving £600k.

“Whilst finding the required savings we are also trying to improve what we do. We have been able to do this by making savings early to reinvest back into the frontline with new equipment; establish better collaborative work with partners to better help those most in need of our help; and improve processes using technology to save money and time.”

Sir Peter added: “We are a small fire and rescue service and one of the lowest cost per head of population in the country so the savings we are having to find are significant. I therefore hope that council tax payers recognise our efforts and support our work to protect our frontline services.”

To have your say on the proposed council tax increase, please complete the simple one question survey https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/CFRScounciltaxsurvey.