Council Tax consultation 2017/18
Kent Fire and Rescue Service
Opens: 5 December 2016
Closes: 16 January 2017 (12:00 noon)
Where your money is spent
Your local fire service gets its money from two places, the Government and Council Tax. This is the amount we have to spend each year on all of the services we provide which include:
- Providing a 24/7 emergency service for fires, road traffic collisions, floods and a whole range of other emergencies where the skills and equipment of firefighters are needed.
- Safety advice and support to help local people stay safe in their own homes, this includes home safety visits particularly targeted at the most vulnerable in the community such as older people and those with disabilities.
- Assistance to the ambulance service for serious medical emergencies such as heart attacks, where trained local fire crews are located closer to the casualty.
- Education for around 90,000 children each year on fire and road safety in schools and at our road safety centre.
A few important facts:
- Kent Fire and Rescue Service’s day-to-day budget in 2016/17 is £69m
- Along with others in the public sector, Kent Fire and Rescue Service has made savings over recent years – £22m over the last 7 years
- We expect to have to make further savings of around £7m over the next four years
Help us plan for the future
We are determined to continue to provide a safe and efficient service whilst balancing changing local needs and working with reducing grant funding from central Government. We believe that the plans we have put in place over the last few years have provided a good foundation to meet that challenge. Our previous investment in new equipment is already paying off, helping us fight fires and deal with rescues more effectively. We are also looking at new ways of working that are more flexible and responsive to local needs. This will help us make the necessary savings while still maintaining the quality service that we believe local people want.
Have your say
In order for us to carry out those plans, Kent Fire and Rescue Service is asking for an increase of 1.9% in Council Tax. That is an increase of just 2.5p a week for a household living in a band D property, which totals an annual increase of £1.35 for the coming year, taking the total Band D Council Tax for Kent Fire and Rescue Service to £73.35 a year.
Fill in our consultation questionnaire and make any observations or comments on the proposals
Paper copies of the consultation are available – let us know if you need this in large print or have any other accessibility issues. Please call 01622 692 121 or email your details to email@example.com
Please give us your views on the following options
1.9% increase (2.5p a week for band D household)
- This will allow us to phase in the necessary savings programme gradually while continuing to deliver a high-quality local service.
- Continue to invest in equipment to help firefighters tackle fires and rescues as effectively as possible
- With an ageing population, we can extend our free home safety visits to the most vulnerable, the elderly and disabled in the community
- Continue to provide important fire and road safety advice to local children and young people
- We would have to consider whether we could extend our programme of free home safety visits
- We may not be able to continue investing in new firefighting equipment
- Take part in the consultation and make any observations or comments about the proposals
Increases over 2%
The Government has told local authorities and fire services that a Council Tax increase of over 2% would need to be endorsed by a countywide referendum. A referendum would be very expensive and could potentially mean a Council Tax increase of around 3% just to cover the ballot costs. Kent Fire and Rescue Service believes that this is not in the best interests of local residents, and we are therefore not consulting on an increase that would trigger a referendum.
Closing date for this consultation is noon 16 January 2017.
The final decision on the Council Tax will be taken on 13 February 2017 by the Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority, taking your views into account.