Maidenhead Advertiser

Funding for fire and rescue – survey open

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BERKSHIRE: A consultati­on is underway over Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s funding through council tax for the upcoming financial year.

The consultati­on by Royal Berkshire Fire Authority (RFBA) is open until 5pm on Tuesday, February 1.

The average Band D householde­r pays £68.95 per year for the fire and rescue service through a council tax precept.

Under RBFA proposals, this would increase by £5 in 2022-2023.

In a letter to residents , Cllr Colin Dudley, chairman of RFBA, said: “The Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service revenue budget for 2021/22 is £35.8 million.

“Two thirds of our funding is received from council tax.

“The other main sources of income are Government grants and business rates.”

But, he said, this central Government funding has fallen by 22 per cent since 2015-2016

He added: “The Government recognises that fire authoritie­s, such as this one, that are in the lowest quartile nationally in terms of council tax charges, face the greatest challenges in addressing immediate pressures and that they require a sustainabl­e funding baseline for the future.

“For this reason, the Government proposes to provide those in the lowest charging quartile with the flexibilit­y to increase the average B and D precept by £5 in 2022/23.

“As the fifth lowest precepting fire authority, we welcome this additional flexibilit­y.”

View the online survey at rbfrs.co.uk/haveyoursa­y

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