South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service precept set to rise in face of inflation and increased costs

Council tax payers across South Yorkshire are set to pay an extra £5 per year on average to fund South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue service.
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Members of the South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority are set to meet on February 20, to vote on the 2023/4 budget and whether to increase its share of council tax by an annual average of six per cent for a band D property.

Householders in Band D currently pay £77.58 per year for the service, which would rise to £82.58 per year if the rise is approved

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The service, like others up and down the country, is facing a £3.9m increase in staffing costs, following a two per cent pay rise.

Council tax payers across South Yorkshire are set to pay an extra £5 per year on average to fund South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue service.Council tax payers across South Yorkshire are set to pay an extra £5 per year on average to fund South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue service.
Council tax payers across South Yorkshire are set to pay an extra £5 per year on average to fund South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue service.

The increase would raise an extra £1.8million to the service’s annual budget of around £60m.

A report to the authority states that the service is facing a net deficit of £1.420m, which will be addressed via the force’s reserves.

Savings will be made throughout the financial year in the service’s indirect pensions budget and employee insurance; premises; transport insurance; and supplies and services.

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The report adds that the 2022/23 financial year ‘has seen an unprecedented national and global increase in the cost of utilities, with a forecast overspend of approximately £1m’.

SYFRS has also faced an increase of £324,828 for its fuel costs – but the report adds that there may be a ‘potential move’ to electric vehicles in the future.

Investments are also earmarked over the next three years, including £14m on new builds and refurbishments, and £6.6m in fleet services.