Fire and Po­lice tax rise af­ter au­thor­i­ties sets its bud­get

Wilmslow Express - - LIFESTYLE -

FIRE and po­lice chiefs have in­creased the coun­cil tax pre­cept from April 1.

Cheshire Fire Author­ity will up the pre­cept by 1.99 per­cent to £ 70.46 per year if you lives in a Band D home.

Cheshire Po­lice’s 1.97 per cent rise equates to £ 156.23 per year for a Band D prop­erty.

Both ser­vices saw their fund­ing from cen­tral Gov­ern­ment cut by mil­lions.

Cheshire Fire Ser­vice’s author­ity agreed a bud­get of £ 42m mil­lion for 2015/ 16 af­ter con­firm­ing sav­ings of £ 1.9 mil­lion from cuts to back of­fice ar­eas and changes in emer­gency re­sponse ser­vices. How­ever the author­ity also ap­proved a cap­i­tal pro­gramme which in­cludes £ 840,000 for three new fire en­gines, £ 700,000 for a new hy­draulic plat­form to help fire­fight­ers work at height and £ 170,000 to fit all fire en­gines with new com­put­ers.

Chief Fire Of­fi­cer Paul Han­cock added: “We know there are still big chal­lenges ahead but the changes we are intro- duc­ing are help­ing us to en­sure we don’t com­pro­mise on our com­mit­ment to pro­tect­ing lo­cal com­mu­ni­ties, re­duc­ing risk and main­tain­ing fire­fight­ers’ safety.”

Cheshire Po­lice And Crime Com­mis­sioner John Dwyer ap­proved the coun­cil tax rise which will put an ex­tra £ 1m into the bud­get, which was slashed by £ 8m.

Mr Dwyer said the cash will help to fund the re­cruit­ment of an ex­tra 53 of­fi­cers by March 2016 and as­sign­ing 131 more of­fi­cers to neigh­bour­hoods.

He said the bud­get will im­prove work to com­bat child sex­ual ex­ploita­tion, rape, do­mes­tic abuse and slav­ery and hu­man traf­fick­ing, main­tain PCSO lev­els and max­imise public en­gage­ment.

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