The fire service’s governing Fire Authority will decide whether to increase its portion of Council Tax by 2.99% next year, at its budget setting meeting later this month.
Current indications are that South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue will lose around £800,000 in its Government grant funding in 2019/20, when compared with 2018/19.
Householders in Band D currently pay £71.01 per year for their Fire and Rescue Service, around £1.37 per week. The decision to increase council tax would raise around £750,000 in annual funding for the fire service- the equivalent of around 20 firefighters.
The service has previously outlined the financial risks it faces in its medium term financial plan, which it will need to find further savings to address. These include:
- The requirement to save £1.4 million from the service’s annual budget, following the outcome of a Judicial Review relating to the Close Proximity Crewing duty system
- The outcome of a Government pensions revaluation, which will almost certainly mean a sharp rise in employer pension contributions
- An uncertain financial future for all public services, with further cuts likely beyond 2020/21
Plans to be developed later this year will consider how these cost pressures affect the way in which South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue delivers its service to the public in the future.
Fire Authority Members will make their decision on Council Tax at the fire and rescue authority meeting on Monday 11 February.