Fire Authority budget is value for money in uncertain times
Posted by Carol Mee on 25 February 2022
Nottinghamshire and City of Nottingham Fire and Rescue Authority agreed a 2022/23 budget, at its meeting on Friday 25 February, that will invest in improving the safety of its communities while making some savings where possible.
Under the £46 million budget, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service will continue to invest in vital new vehicles, buildings, equipment, IT and training, including in response to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. The budget will allow the Service to complete its move to a joint headquarters with Nottinghamshire Police this year, finish the new fire station at Worksop, which is due to open in April, and investigate replacing Eastwood Fire Station.
At the same time, temporary savings of £1.6 million have been identified by, for example, delaying whole-time firefighter recruitment.
To meet all these commitments, the Fire Authority has approved a Council Tax increase of 1.95%, equating to £1.08 a year more for a Band A property and £1.62 for Band D, for the Fire Authority's portion of the Council Tax bill.
Chair of the Fire Authority Councillor Michael Payne said: "The ongoing uncertain economic climate presents us with a financial challenge, but we aim to deliver a sustainable, balanced budget while continuing to put the needs of our communities first and making some savings where possible.
"Most households within the city and county fall into Bands A or B, which means their bill will increase just £1.08 or £1.26 for the Fire Service part of the bill over the entire year. We will continue to ensure Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service offers good value for money for the residents and businesses we serve here in Nottingham and Nottinghamshire."
Chief Fire Officer John Buckley, who is also Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council Finance Committee, said: "It is important that we keep investing in our buildings, vehicles, IT, equipment and people so they remain fit for purpose and effective. We will explore the latest technology, wherever possible, and reduce our impact on the environment. We will continue to explore opportunities for collaboration so that public money is invested wisely. We need to invest in some key areas, such as firefighter training for high-rise fires in the wake of the Grenfell Tower Inquiry. This budget will allow us to do all that."
The Fire Authority Council Tax report is available on Nottingham City Council's website (opens in new tab). The meeting is available to view through the NFRS YouTube site.