Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service has announced plans to raise its share of council tax by 2.99 per cent from April 2024, meaning households across the county will see their council tax bill rise.

For a Band D property, the 2.99 per cent increase will mean an annual increase of £2.34, totalling £82.26 per year, or £1.58 a week.

The decision "has not been taken lightly", said Councillor Edna Murphy, Chair of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority. 

"We know the cost of living crisis is still impacting many local families. [...] However we sadly have little choice if we want to continue to deliver the same service we do now."

A spokesperson for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue said that the Authority will face a "financial challenge" next year when Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service withdraws from the Combined Fire Control collaboration. 

The Huntingdon control room takes 999 calls and mobilises fire engines for both Cambridgeshire and Suffolk, which saves both fire and rescue services over half a million pounds a year.

However, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service are withdrawing from the partnership in 2025, which has left Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service with "little choice" but to raise its share in council tax.

Chief Fire Officer Chris Strickland said: "Suffolk withdrawing from our effective partnership is potentially going to cause us a significant financial issue next year.

"We haven't yet done the full cost analysis yet to understand where that leaves us, but basing it on the £500,000 we save now, it is a massive amount of money for us to suddenly have to find it."

Chris Strickland added that the service will have to find money, and that "we cannot promise that won't mean cuts to operational service".

He also warned that if the fire service are given permission, "asking more from taxpayers" may be an option.