Tuesday, February 23, 2021, 8:05 a.m.
By Daniel Clark, local democracy reporter
Residents pay £ 1.74 more per year
Residents of Devon and Somerset will increase their contribution to the operation of the fire service by 1.99 percent as part of budget plans to recruit additional firefighters.
The Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Service voted at their meeting on Friday Almost unanimously on the recommended budget for 2021/22, which was based on a council tax increase of 1.99 percent.
This means the average Band D property is £ 90 a year for the fire department, which is an increase of £ 1.74.
An alternative option where the council tax would have been frozen was rejected as this would have resulted in a budget deficit of more than £ 1 million.
Within the approved budget the agency agreed to consider investing in a larger facility for a period of three years to aid strategic workforce planning.
Amy Webb, Dire Chief Financial Officer, added in her report, “The budget provides an opportunity to support reform of the service now and in the future. In January 2020, the agency approved a number of key changes to better align resources with risk. The basis of the Safer Together program is the new standby payment system, which aims to improve the recruitment, retention and ultimately the safety of our communities by improving the availability of fire trucks.
“The system is more expensive and so the savings from the Operating model for the provision of services reinvested in the on-call service system. The £ 850,000 investment in prevention and protection continues to enable more security activities in the community and business. «
Cllr Mark Healey said, » As much as we don’t want to raise the bid, we have to do so for the future as it will put the agency in a vacuum and the public will not thank us for it in the future. This is a good budget for our goals. “
The agency also approved the capital strategy for the coming year, which was limited to the existing projects only, specifically the new Plymstock fire station and a renovation of the Camels Head fire station, as well as some minor work to ensure compliance to ensure the regulations, such as B. improved sleeping facilities and vehicle washing facilities.
Ms. Webb added: “The public consultation on planned station closings has clearly shown that the merger of fire stations is preferred. This would mean acquiring new sites and building new stations at significant cost, and the service will start feasibility studies for potential mergers in the next integrated risk management plan.
« Such mergers would be subject to public consultation and a decision by the Authority, and at this point in time, no fusion station plans are included in the capital program. However, creating a new risk management plan for the community can identify locations that could benefit from such mergers to better align resources and increase. “
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