South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority believes the government's grant allocations for the next four years will see metropolitan areas hit hardest by the cuts.

In South Yorkshire, the fire authority will receive a 9.5 per cent reduction in grant receipts in 2011/12, followed by a further 3.4 percent cut in 2012/13. The pressures will increase even more after that, a spokesperson told FIRE, as the government has planned the bigger proportion of the overall reduction from 2013/14 onwards.  

Jim Andrews, Chair of South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority, said: "Two thirds of the fire authority's funding comes from grants and even though Council Tax is assumed to rise by inflation, it will mean substantially lower cash funding levels in every year.

"We expected that grants would be cut by five or six per cent next year, and we have been planning on that basis. 

"What we now know is that the government are expecting the metropolitan areas like South Yorkshire to absorb cuts of nearly 10 per cent in 2011/12." 

All fire authority chairs across the country are to meet with the Fire Minister today to discuss the detail of the grant settlements.

The Metropolitan Fire Authorities met in Barnsley yesterday to discuss how representation should be made to the government on the impact of the cuts on services in the major urban areas.

Meanwhile, South Yorkshire Fire Authority members will meet on December 20 to discuss the budget reduction. The meeting will be broadcast live by webcast at: 


Photo: Jim Andrews, Chair of South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority


Posted December 15th.