Fire authority's share of Council Tax increases - The Solihull Observer

Fire authority's share of Council Tax increases

Solihull Editorial 27th Feb, 2024   0

COUNCIL Tax payers are set to pay an extra 2.99 per cent for West Midlands Fire Service (WMFS) from April.

This means the average Band D property will pay around £1.45 a week rise for services to prevent, protect from and respond to fires and other emergencies.

The annual amount of council tax precept for a Band D property is £75.20 for 2024/25.

The rise was approved at a meeting of the West Midlands Fire and Rescue Authority (WMFRA) and will be added to the council tax bills of the seven Local Authorities within the West Midlands conurbation.

WMFS says it is facing increasing pressures through the effects of inflation, uncertainty over future funding and the continuing impact of the cost of living.

Councillor Greg Brackenridge, chair of WMFRA, said: “Our committed and highly professional frontline and support staff provide an outstanding service to the communities of the West Midlands and will strive for continual improvements in all areas.

“WMFS will still be one of the lowest precept fire services in the country after the 2024 increase.

“Despite the reduction in core funding over many years, I am confident that West Midlands firefighters and support staff will continue to deliver the outstanding services the community currently receives.”

The service said the budget will enable the service to deliver its strategy, based on its Community Risk Management Plan (CRMP) which takes account of all foreseeable risks which our communities might face – from house fires and road traffic collisions, through to flooding and terrorism. It also factors in the responses of thousands of people to a public consultation carried out by WMFS in 2023.

Jo Bowcock, deputy chief fire officer, said: “Following the consultation we completed last year and the many thousands of responses we received, we feel it’s right that the communities and businesses of the West Midlands can see the progress they have asked for. I am confident that the services WMFS provide will not only be maintained but continually elevated.”

More details about the CRMP and strategy at the start of the new financial year, 2024-25.


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