Rise in council tax to pay for our fire service

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

RESIDENTS in South Yorkshire will pay more for the county’s fire service after a 1.98 per cent rise in the authority’s element of council tax was agreed.

The increase will mean a rise of £1.24 a year for people in Band D.

The fire Authority agreed to increase its council tax precept next year as the service is facing Government cuts to its budget of around £10m by 2015.

Fire chiefs say the extra £400,000 a year will help them continue to protect communities despite huge reductions in Government funding.

But they say the scale of the cuts mean changes to frontline services remain inevitable.

The decision means Band D residents will pay £63.78 a year in council tax to the fire service (around £1.22 a week) up from £62.54 a year in 2012/13.

Fire Authority Chair Cllr. Jim Andrews said: “Despite the severe cuts to our Government funding we have been able to limit this increase to under two per cent as we appreciate the difficult circumstances facing many of our residents. I believe providing the wide range of safety and emergency response services we do for just over £1.20 a week for an average household represents good value for money.” The Government said the increase must be limited to two per cent.