Fire Authority council tax to go down by one per cent

Wed 18 Feb, 2015

Council tax payments to Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service are to be reduced by one per cent for the coming year.

Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fire Authority voted to lower its portion of council tax, which has not changed since 2010, at its meeting today.

The band D charge for the financial year starting on 1 April will go down to £58.54, meaning a payment equivalent to about £1.12 a week.

Members set a budget for 2015/16 of £28,740,000, which is about £68,000 less than the current year’s. They accepted a grant payment of £182,000 from the Government in lieu of a council tax rise.

About 4p from every £1 of council tax paid in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes goes to Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service. The rest goes towards the cost of services provided by councils and the police.

Chief Fire Officer Jason Thelwell said: “We started planning for budget reductions long before they came in, and we have worked hard to ensure that we are in a healthy financial position.

“Our staff have perfected the art of managing their budgets so that they can manage with less rather than simply do less, and they are a credit to our community.”

Councillor Adrian Busby, Chairman of Buckinghamshire & Milton Keynes Fire Authority, said: “This Fire Authority is dedicated to helping the public by reducing living costs and making sensible savings, while ensuring high quality services to protect them are maintained.

“It is always important to remember that this is not our money. We are the guardians of the public purse and we take our responsibilities very seriously.”  

Milton Keynes Councillor Andy Dransfield, Vice-Chairman, said: “The whole organisation has worked very hard to keep costs down over the last five years.

“Our continued investment in prevention and protection has had the effect of reducing both risk and demand within our communities.

“This Fire Authority has not raised council tax for five years and has today reduced it. The residents of Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes will welcome a reduction, particularly as some authorities are actually increasing their precept.”

Council tax bills in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes, which will be sent out next month, will include the following totals per home to pay for Buckinghamshire Fire & Rescue Service in 2015/16. Note: About two-thirds of homes in Buckinghamshire and Milton Keynes are in bands A to D.

  • Band A, £39.03
  • Band B, £45.53
  • Band C, £52.04
  • Band D, £58.54
  • Band E, £71.55
  • Band F, £84.56
  • Band G, £97.57
  • Band H, £117.08