Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold is asking for an increase of £5 a year in the council tax precept paid by a band D household for Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service.
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service is the second lowest funded in the country. The 7.3 per cent increase – under 10p a week extra for a band D property – is significantly less than the rate of inflation but will help to meet the impact of rising costs.
Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold said that even with an increase of £5, Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service remains poorly funded and will be hit hard by rising costs, which could undermine the progress that has been made.
He said that local council taxpayers foot most of the bill for funding Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service – 64 per cent. Local businesses pay 26 per cent through business rates and around 10 per cent comes from local government.
Stephen Mold said: “Because most of our funding comes from local taxpayers, an increase of £5 makes an enormous difference to our budget.
“Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service has moved forward enormously in the last few years, performance has improved markedly, and we have invested in new fire appliances to make sure our firefighters have the right tools to do the job. But years of under-funding have made a mark and the Service does not have the reserves to draw on in times of pressure.
“I know that people hold their local Fire and Rescue Service in very high regard, but I know how tough things are for people this year. A council tax increase of £5 or 7.3 per cent will not cover the rising costs, but it can go some way to helping us maintain the progress we have seen over the last few years.”
The Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue precept accounts for around 4 per cent of the council tax paid by a band D household in Northamptonshire.
The council tax precept proposals will be discussed by the Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Panel at a public meeting on Thursday February 2.