Fire safety is to raise council tax for South Yorkshire

Sheffield Town Hall
Sheffield Town Hall
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THE average council tax bill in Sheffield is set to rise by £4 this year, The Star can reveal.

The county’s fire service has announced it will be increasing its precept by 1.98 per cent.

Firefighters tackling blaze at the derelict former Carpet Warehouse building on College Road, Masbrough.

Firefighters tackling blaze at the derelict former Carpet Warehouse building on College Road, Masbrough.

The move comes after South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Shaun Wright said he would increase the policing precept by 3.6 per cent to fund 170 new officers.

Sheffield Council has said it will freeze its portion of council tax, subject to cabinet approval.

That means residents living in Band A properties in Sheffield will pay an extra £3.87 a year - an extra 84p for fire services, and £3.33 for policing.

Meanwhile those in Band B properties will pay an extra 98p for fire services and £3.89 for policing - a total rise of £4.87 a year.

South Yorkshire Fire Authority met yesterday to agree its budget for 2013-14. The increase, which is under the two per cent figure that would have required a referendum, will mean a fire service precept payment of £42.52 a year for homes in Band A and £49.61 for those in Band B.

But fire chiefs said changes to frontline services were inevitable because it is facing £10 million of budget cuts up to 2015.

Coun Colin Ross, Liberal Democrat member of the South Yorkshire Fire Authority, voted against the increase. He said: “By agreeing a council tax freeze we can support families who are struggling with bills and put another £400,000 in the pockets of local taxpayers.”

Fire authority chairman Coun Jim Andrews said: “I believe providing the wide range of safety and emergency response services we do for just over £1.20 a week for an average household represents good value for money.”

Chief fire officer Jamie Courtney said: “This will help us continue providing the first-class fire and rescue service our communities deserve.”

Council tax 2013-2014

* Band A: 84p+£3.33 = £4.17

* Band B: 98p+£3.89 = £4.87

* Band C: £1.12+£4.44 = £5.56

* Band D: £1.24+£5 = £6.24