Nottinghamshire households face another rise in their tax bill after the county fire service authority approved an increase to “protect frontline services”. Plans to remove fire engines from London Road and Stockhill fire stations were officially dropped, along with plans that would have removed the West Bridgford night shift.
But people will have to make an additional “small contribution” to Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue to protect such services, with the £5 increase in council tax meaning a bill of nearly £60 for Band A properties. The Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue council tax is in addition to that levied by the Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Nottinghamshire County Council and district councils.
For those who live in Nottingham, your council tax bill includes payments to the council, the Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Department and the Police and Crime Commissioner. The fire service council tax increase was approved unanimously at a meeting of the Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Authority and the City of Nottingham on Friday (February 24).
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Labor Councilor Michael Payne, who chairs the authority, told the meeting: “This has been the most difficult year to get a budget due to some unknowns. I think it would be very remiss of this fire authority to have pushed so hard.” for a flexibility in the municipal tax to the Government and then not make use of that total flexibility.
“I absolutely understand the pressure there is on families, the cost of living crisis, and asking people to contribute even an extra 10p a week is probably too much. I fundamentally believe that people trust and support the fire service and they are willing to make a small contribution to make sure we protect our front-line services.”
Councilor Payne argued that part of the problem was a lack of government funding, saying Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue was the seventh most affected service across the country in terms of reduced core purchasing power since 2010. Councilor Payne said Nottinghamshire it had lost around 5% of fire and rescue funding since 2010, in contrast to areas like Hampshire, which have seen funding increase of almost 15% in the same period.
But Conservative councilor Johno Lee argued: “Money comes out of the pockets of our residents no matter who pays, the national government or the local government. The government doesn’t make its own money, we don’t make our own money, any money we spend by the national government or by us continues to be out of the pockets of our residents.
“The government doesn’t have a magic money tree, we don’t have a magic money tree. Any money comes from me, you and our residents and it’s misleading to say otherwise.”
Councilor Payne said this point was “self-evident” but “politics is also about choice.” Labor Councilor Steve Battlemuch also noted that in a consultation on the fire service proposals, 80% of respondents backed a one-off £5 tax increase.
Fire chief Craig Parkin added after the meeting: “For me, it’s a good result today, overall. We have the £5 precept, which is a big problem because clearly, we’ve laid out what it would mean if we did. “. Get those 5 pounds, a very different picture.”
Other recent council tax increases have included an increase of at least £50 for all Nottinghamshire County Council households. Nottingham City Council will vote on its proposed 4.99% tax increase at a meeting on March 6.