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Council Tax

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The Council Tax charge for 2019/2020 for Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Authority will be £84.34 for a Band D Council Taxpayer.

For this you receive round-the-clock reassurance that, in the event of an emergency, the Service will be on hand to help you.

We also spend thousands of hours in your local communities, educating people about the risk of fires and other emergencies such as road traffic collisions. Additionally, we work extensively with other local partners to protect the young and the vulnerable, part of which includes fitting free smoke alarms and providing fire safety advice.

We have wholetime stations (operating 24 hours a day) and retained duty (on-call) stations that are crewed by firefighters who are on call to provide 24-hour cover to their communities, often in addition to their regular employment and are able to respond in a few minutes from their place of main employment or home.

Your contributions help fund a total of 241 full-time operational staff, 371 retained (on-call) firefighters, 22 control room staff who take emergency calls and mobilise our crews, and a number of support staff who ensure the Service runs effectively and efficiently. As part of the nation's resilience against large-scale incidents, we also host specialist equipment including one of 20 national Urban Search and Rescue specialist units.

Our area has a particular demand for rope and water rescues and for assistance when chemicals are spilled. We also have highly trained specialist teams to deal with these specific emergencies.

How are we performing?

We are committed to delivering an excellent service and we will continue to strive to ensure that our communities are made safer from the dramatic and sometimes tragic consequences of fire and other hazards.

We are a consistently high-performing authority with a good record of improvement and financial prudence. In the past year the Service has had to make significant savings in order to meet a budget shortfall. These savings have come from reductions in back office, management roles and through a range of internal service improvements. Our Community Risk Management Plan has ensured further savings from our frontline resources whilst at the same time having the least impact on our communities.

What will your money go towards this year?

Whilst we need to make significant savings from our budget we still need to procure and replace the necessary equipment and vehicles to ensure the safety of our communities and our firefighters.

We will continue to deliver safety advice, particularly to vulnerable people within our communities. We will also continue to work with other emergency services, agencies and schools to make our communities safer and help improve community well-being.

Ultimately, your Council Tax will go towards ensuring our firefighting and rescue response to emergency calls remains effective, and that we continue to perform well.

Council Tax Precept 2019/20

In 201920 the Fire Authority will spend £34.9m providing a comprehensive emergency service to the communities of Herefordshire & Worcestershire. This represents an increase of £2.7m (8.1%) compared to 2018/19.

BUDGET 2018-19
2019-20
£m £m
Employees (including Pension Costs) 21.472
23.541
Running Costs 8.120
8.213
Capital Financing 2.858
3.204
Income (0.214)
(0.105)
Core Budget 32.236 34.853
Net Transfer to/(from) Budget Reduction Reserves (0.038) (0.379)
Net Transfer to/(from) Property Maintenance Reserve (0.260) (0.120)
Net Transfer to/(from) General Balances
(0.300)
Net Budget 31.938 34.054

The Fire Authority keeps a proportion (1%) of Business Rates collected locally as well as receiving grant from central government, and a charge on local tax payers through Council Tax. In 2019-20 £7.8m (23%) will come from the government in the form of grants, £2.7m (8%) from local business rates and the balance £23.6m (69%) from local council tax-payers.

COUNCIL TAX REQUIREMENT 2018-19 2019-20
£m £m
Core Budget 31.938 34.054
Less : Formula/Support (Government) Grants

Revenue Support Grant (2.427) (2.036)
Business Rate Top Up Grant (3.240) (3.318)
(5.667) (5.354)
Less : Total Special Grants
Fire Revenue Grant (0.985) (1.025)
Rural Services Delivery Grant (0.088) (0.109)
One-Off Pension Grant 0.000 (1.344)
(1.073) (2.478)
Share of Local Business Rates (2.455) (2.587)
Less : Deficits/(Surpluses) on Collection Funds (0.167) (0.141)
Council Tax Requirement 22.576 23.494
Tax-base
Band D Equivalent
275,651
£81.90
278,565
£84.34


WHY SPENDING HAS CHANGED £m
Core Budget 2018-19 32.236
Cost of fire-fighter Pensions 1.410
Provision for National Pay Award 0.406
Capital Financing Costs 0.361
Non-Pay Inflation 0.300
Net Other Changes 0.140
Core Budget 2019-20 34.853