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Council Tax

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The Council Tax charge for 2023/2024 for Hereford & Worcester Fire and Rescue Authority will be £94.40 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 256 full-time operational staff, 371 retained (on-call) firefighters, 25 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 2023/24

In 2023-24 the Fire Authority will spend £39.4m providing a comprehensive emergency service to the communities of Herefordshire & Worcestershire. This represents an increase of £2.54m (6.9%) compared to 2021-22 and includes increases in National Insurance rates and increased inflation, especially on fuel and utilities.

BUDGET 2022-23   
£m £m
Employees (including Pension Costs) 25.180
Running Costs 8.922
Capital Financing 2.827
Income (0.076)
Core Budget 35.853 39.397
Net Transfer to/(from) Budget Reduction Reserves (0.189) 0.474
Net Transfer to/(from) General Balances  
Net Budget 36.615 40.115

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 2023-24 £9.7m (24%) will come from the government in the form of grants, £3.1m (8%) from local business rates and the balance £27.25m (68%) from local council tax-payers.

£m £m
Core Budget 36.615 40.115
Less : Formula/Support (Government) Grants

Revenue Support Grant (2.144) (2.361)
Business Rate Top Up Grant (3.372) (3.402)
Pension Grant (1.568) (1.568)
2022/23 Services Grant (0.392) (0.221)
Non-Indexation of Business Rates Grant (0.277) (1.005)
(7.753) (8.671)
Less : Special Grants
Fire Revenue Grant (1.002) (0.957)
Grants Supporting Tax-base/Collection Fund Losses    
Rural Services Delivery Grant (0.115) (0.115)
(1.117) (1.072)
Share of Local Business Rates & Section 31 Grants (1.923) (3.126)
Less : Deficits/(Surpluses) on Collection Funds (0.254) (0.030)
Council Tax Requirement 25.568 27.216
Band D Equivalent

Core Budget 2022-23 36.853
2022/23 Pay Awards - not budgeted in 2022/23 0.922
Provision for 2023/24 Pay Awards 0.845
Provision for inflation (General) 0.320
Provision for Additional fuel/utilities inflation & Rates Revaluation 0.515
Capital Programme  
Increase in National Insurance Rates  
Net Other Changes (0.058)
Core Budget 2023-24 39.397