No rise in cost of fire service to Isle

South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service.
South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue Service.

Isle residents will pay the same amount for their fire and rescue services for the fourth successive year.

The contributions that people in Humberside and North Lincolnshire pay to help fund the fire crews that work across the area will be frozen again.

This is despite the service suffering a large reduction in its income from the Government’s grant funding.

Payments from the Government to the Humberside Fire Authority have been reduced by 27 per cent over five years, but the Authority says its own financial savings mean it can avoid an increase to the precept, which is the money raised from households and paid as part of Council Tax bills.

The decision to freeze the payment sum for householders was made at a Fire Authority meeting on February 17, where Members reviewed the annual savings of more than five million pounds per year which have already been put in place.

Details of further changes which will result in cost reductions of a further £2.5 million per year were also under discussion at the meeting.

Members of the Authority looked in detail at the performance of HFR Solutions, the Authority owned community interest company, which they said is making a significant contribution to some areas of the Service’s work, and helping to reduce the pressure on budgets.

Coun John Briggs, Chairman of the Humberside Fire Authority, said: “Officers have been planning for the current financial situation we are facing since 2009.

“They have implemented efficiency changes early enough to allow them to cope with the grant reductions without the need for compulsory redundancies.

“The Fire Authority’s priority would always be to provide an excellent service to the community and to ensure the safety of firefighters.”

He continued: “We are very proud of the service we provide to our communities and I am pleased that we have been able to do that without increasing the cost to hard-pressed council tax payers again this year.”