Finance

KFRS Budget Consultation

Kent Fire and Rescue LogoCouncil 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. (more…)

ABC Budget Consultation

Ashford Borough Council Logo2017-18 Budget consultation

Ashford Borough Council

Opens: 23 December 2016
Closes: 8 February 2017

Ashford Borough Council (ABC) have published their 2017-18 Budget consultation summary document and are inviting comments on their draft budget.

ABC has announced the consultation on 12 December 2016, ahead of publication of the summary document on 23 December, by saying that it  is likely to still set the lowest council tax in Kent following the approval of its draft budget for 2017-18 by Cabinet members on 11 December.

Residents, businesses and parishes will now be given the opportunity to comment on the draft budget. It will also be considered in detail by the council’s overview and scrutiny committee’s budget task group, as the report makes its way through the democratic process before being considered again by cabinet and council in February 2017. (more…)

Fake Bank Letters

Action FraudLloyds customers should be on the lookout for a new sophisticated fraud that involves fraudsters sending fake bank letters. 

The convincing letters being sent are a replica template from Lloyds and include their logo, address and signature from a customer service representative.

The letter tells recipients that there have been some “unusual transactions” on their personal account and asks them to call a number highlighted in bold to confirm they are genuine.

When victims call the number, an automated welcome message is played and the caller is asked to enter their card number, account number and sort code followed by their date of birth.Victims are then instructed to enter the first and last digit of their security number.
The fraud was spotted by the Daily Telegraph who was alerted to it by a reader who had three identical letters sent to an office address. On separate occasions the Daily Telegraph ran some tests using fake details and were passed to fraudsters who claimed to be from a Lloyds contact centre. The bank has confirmed that the phone number and letters are fake.

The letters are essentially a sophisticated phishing attempt and serves as a warning to consumers to question written correspondence from their banks.

If you are ever suspicious about correspondence from your bank you should call the customer serviced number on the back of their card.

To report a fraud and cyber crime, call us on 0300 123 2040 or visit http://www.actionfraud.police.uk/report_fraud

Action Fraud 9 December 2016
www.actionfraud.police.uk/news/sophisticated-fraud-involving-convincing-bank-letters-dec16

It is likely that similar fraud will be attempted other bank’s details.

  1. Never disclose security details, such as your PIN or full banking password
  2. Don’t assume an email, text, letter or phone call is authentic
  3. Don’t be rushed – a genuine organisation won’t mind waiting
  4. Listen to your instincts – you know if something doesn’t feel right
  5. Stay in control – don’t panic and make a decision you’ll regret

#TakeFive

Online scams

Take Five to stop fraudOnline fraud covers everything from online shopping to online banking, but one thing can help prevent both: take the time to install the built-in security measures most browsers and many banks offer. These can help protect you whether the criminals are trying to dupe you with fake pop-ups in your online banking window, sending you ‘scam alert’ messages hiding malware, or faking retailer websites to make you input your financial details.

https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/advice/

#TakeFive

Email scams

Take Five to stop fraudCriminals don’t just try and contact you by phone and text, they also ‘phish’, contacting you by email too. So always be suspicious of unsolicited emails that are supposedly from your bank or some other trusted organisation because the address can easily be faked. Never automatically click on any links they contain either, not before stopping to check if they seem genuine first. It is safer to type the web address of your bank or other organisation rather than use a link from an email.

https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/advice/

#TakeFive

Text message scams

Take Five to stop fraudA text might not be from who you think – Smishing is when criminals pretend a message is from your bank or another organisation you trust. They will usually tell you there has been fraud on your account and will ask you to deal with it by calling a number or visiting a fake website to update your personal details. Please take a moment to stop and think and realise this is the fraud…

If you think there has been fraud on your card or bank account – or if you suspect anyone has attempted to compromise your financial details – report it immediately to your bank or financial services provider and then contact Action Fraud on 0300 123 2040 or at www.actionfraud.police.uk.

https://takefive-stopfraud.org.uk/advice/

#TakeFive

Are you an energy genius?

Are you an energy genius?Big Energy Saving Week is here! Running between October 31 and November 6, the campaign is calling on the nation’s bill payers to take control of their bills and grab some extra cash. And to celebrate #BESW2016, the Energy Saving Trust is offering you the chance to win £1,500 by testing your knowledge of the best ways to save on your energy supplier.

For example, did you know that the average UK bill-payer can save around £300 just by switching supplier or tariff? And many households may be letting myths hold them back from getting the best deal from their energy supplier.

More than 70 per cent won’t switch to a small supplier they haven’t heard of, even if they could save them money, while some wrongly believe that changing supplier means rewiring your property – or that they have a limited supply of energy compared to their competitors.

Take the quiz and put yourself in with a chance of winning £1,500, and prove you’re switched on to saving!

https://besw.typeform.com/to/lyM7iS?utm

Big Energy Saving Week: save

Check, switch, saveThe best way to pay less for your fuel is simply to save energy around your home.

This doesn’t mean doing without – you can waste less by being energy efficient. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that the average home in the UK could save up to £130 per year – and avoid emitting 500kg of carbon dioxide – simply by taking energy saving steps.

Are you worried about how much money you’re spending to heat and light your home? Do you want to spend less? There are some simple steps you can take to save money and energy by changing the way you use appliances or making your home more energy efficient. (more…)

Big Energy Saving Week: switch

Check, switch, saveMany people stay on the same tariff or with the same energy supplier for years, without realising they could be getting a better deal elsewhere. By switching tariffs or suppliers, or joining an oil club, you could save hundreds on your fuel bill. Take control of your energy costs – why pay more than you have to?

Make sure you can enjoy a comfortable, healthy home without the anxiety of ever-rising costs, If you’ve never switched before, it is well worth having a look around to see what’s on offer. (more…)