Avon Fire Authority sets Council Tax precept for 2014/15

Avon Fire Authority logoMembers of Avon Fire Authority (AFA) have voted for a small increase in the Fire Council Tax precept for 2014/15.

At a meeting on Friday 7 February, Members agreed a rise just below 2%.

It means the annual bill for a Band D property will rise by £1.28 from £64.02 to £65.30.

AFA members considered two options for the next year – the increase outlined above or a Council Tax freeze.

This year’s Government grant settlement represented a 7.5% reduction on the previous year, continuing the downward trend of central funding in recent years.

Chair of Avon Fire Authority, Councillor Terry Walker, said: “This decision to increase the precept has not been taken lightly. We are mindful of the continuing pressure on household budgets, but with the money we receive from central Government being reduced further we felt we had no choice.

“Over the next few years we expect the money we receive from the Government to continue to fall, which means £6million of further annual savings will need to be found on top of previous savings.

“We want to continue to provide the excellent service members of the public have come to expect. Although it will cost an average household 10 pence a month more than a year ago this money is set to be used as we embark on our Investing for the Future programme to build three new fire stations, a new HQ and upgrade an existing fire station.”

The Government grant represents around half of Avon Fire & Rescue Service’s total income, with the remainder coming from local Council Tax payers in Bath & North East Somerset, Bristol, South Gloucestershire and North Somerset.