Northamptonshire Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold is asking for an increase of around 3.5 pence per week – £1.76 a year for a band D household – in the amount of council tax that funds the fire and rescue service.
The increase, the maximum allowed by the Government, will be used to provide Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service with stability, creating a capital programme so that future investment in equipment can be planned and establishing a funding reserve.
The Fire and Rescue Service, which transferred to the governance of the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner on January 1, is legally required to have a reserve.
It will take up to three years for the Fire and Rescue Service to build up the right level of reserves but once this has been done, it will place the organisation on a stable financial footing for future years.
In a public consultation on the council tax precept for fire, 70% of people said that they would pay more to support the Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service.
PFCC Stephen Mold said: “The Fire and Rescue Service will be in control of its own, ring-fenced budget for the first time so we need to establish financial stability so that we can plan for future developments.
“I have also asked both the Chief Constable and the Chief Fire Officer to continue working on ways to make sure that the organisations work well together to make the best use of resources and share facilities wherever they can.”
The Police Fire and Crime Panel will consider the proposed increase when they meet on February 5.
NOTE TO NEWS EDITORS:
The increase brings the total amount that a band D household will pay towards Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service to £60.76 a year, up 2.99%