Nottinghamshire and City of Nottingham Fire and Rescue Authority is expected to agree a 2021/22 budget, at its meeting on Friday 26 February, that will invest in the safety of its communities while securing savings and value for money.
If the budget is approved, Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service will continue to invest in a Joint Headquarters with Nottinghamshire Police, due to open next year, that will enhance the services’ ability to work together and make more effective use of resources. NFRS also intends to build a replacement fire station in Worksop with the latest in renewable technology, also due to open next year.
The budget would allow for further investment in response to the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and more training and development for staff to meet continuous improvement challenges, while savings of £640,000 would be made elsewhere.
To meet all these commitments, the Fire Authority is expected to approve a Council Tax increase of 1.95%, equating to £1.06 a year for a Band A property and £1.59 for Band D, for the Fire Authority's portion of the Council Tax bill.
Chair of the Fire Authority Councillor Michael Payne said: "This budget demonstrates our clear commitment to the communities of Nottinghamshire and Nottingham as we invest to meet the future needs of the Service. Most households within the city and county fall into Bands A or B which means that their bill will increase just £1.06 or £1.24 for the fire part of the bill over the entire year. I'm sure our citizens believe Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service offers real value for money and, therefore, understand our decision to increase the Fire Authority Council Tax by 1.95%.”
Fire Authority Member Councillor Andrew Brown said: "The Service needs to continue to invest in the future delivery of its services and its staff, ensuring it can respond to the ever-changing needs of our communities as well as the changing demands of the fire sector. This budget will enable the Service to do this while also making savings where possible."
Chief Fire Officer John Buckley, who is also Chair of the National Fire Chiefs Council Finance Committee, said: "We are already implementing recommendations following the Grenfell Tower Inquiry and will continue to do so. The Joint Headquarters and the new station at Worksop are part of our long-term strategic plan to replace ageing and expensive-to-run accommodation. Since the start of the pandemic, we have also been carrying out a huge amount of humanitarian assistance to support the NHS, East Midlands Ambulance Service and the general public, including delivering food and medication, driving ambulances, setting up COVID testing centres and working at vaccination centres.”
The Fire Authority Council Tax report and link to the online meeting are available on the Nottingham City Council’s website. The meeting will start at 10.30am.