West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority (WYFRA) today agreed a minor precept increase of 1.99%. This equates to an increase in council tax of 2.4 pence per week for a Band ‘D’ property.
The Fire Authority has been prudent over a long period of time and is therefore pleased to be able to keep this increase extremely low, whilst still providing a first class fire and rescue service to the people of West Yorkshire.
West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service (WYFRS) will maintain a balanced budget this year with no reductions to services.
In the coming year, WYFRS has plans to increase investment in its Fire Protection department, which oversees building inspections, legislations and regulation. This will enable greater capacity following recommendations from the Grenfell Inquiry report. There will also be extra funding for more on-call firefighters, allowing the Service to continue to provide a good level of fire cover across West Yorkshire.
Chief Fire Officer for WYFRS John Roberts said: “We were delighted to receive a rating of ‘good’ in all areas of our service from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS), and this precept rise allows us to continue to provide a high level of service.
“We will be investing in our Fire Protection department and looking to increase the number on-call firefighters to maintain and improve on the ‘good’ level of cover.
“Despite the small precept increase we are still one of the lowest costing fire and rescue services-per-head-of-population in the country, so we hope the people of West Yorkshire agree that they receive good value for money for the service we provide.”
Chair of WYFRA, Councillor Darren O’Donovan added: “Our grant from Central Government has been reduced by around £26m since 2010 so the small precept rise enables us to continue to do some of the things that government do not provide direct funding for.
“This includes responding to things like the increased risk of moorland fires and flooding.
“We are committed to continuing to provide the public of West Yorkshire with the high level of service they currently receive.”