Tax bills to rise to fund fire service

PUBLISHED: 09:49 25 February 2018

Archant

Homeowners will pay more than £70 a year to fund the fire service from April, as it looks to save £1.7million from its budget.

Avon Fire and Rescue Service’s fire authority agreed last week to increase its precept from council tax by three per cent.

It equates to, for the average band D property, a rise of £2.07 per year to £71.35.

Cllr Donald Davies, the fire authority’s chairman, said: “All members understand even a small increase in the amount we ask for through council tax presents a challenge to some members of our community. As a result increasing our precept is never a decision we take lightly.

“Officers were very clear the risk of not adding just over 4p a week to the average council tax payer would impact directly on frontline services.

“We know how much people value the services provided by Avon Fire and the view of the authority was that most would consider a modest real-terms increase as a price worth paying.

“Despite this year’s increase our precept continues to be among the lowest in the country.”

The fire service said the change will enable it to agree a balanced budget in the face of funding cuts from the Government.

It says it is due to receive seven per cent less funding than before.

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