Council tax hike proposal to protect fire service across Cambridgeshire

Council tax bills could rise by £1.44 a year to protect fire service across Cambridgeshire.

Council tax bills could rise by £1.44 a year to protect fire service across Cambridgeshire. Pictured are firefighters on a training exercise. - Credit: Cambs Fire and Rescue Service

Council tax bills could rise by £1.44 a year to ensure the fire service continues to “keep people safe” across Cambridgeshire. 

The Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Fire Authority is asking residents to have their say on proposals to increase the fire service’s share of council tax for 2022/23. 

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The service is looking for a below inflation increase of £1.44 (around two per cent) for the year, making the total contribution for the year £74.97 for a resident living in a Band D property. 

Chair of the fire authority, Councillor Edna Murphy, said: “We know and fully appreciate that many of our residents are feeling the financial pressure from rising costs and the financial uncertainty that the pandemic has brought.  

“We have reviewed everything we do to keep any increase in council tax to a minimum. We have an excellent track record of finding savings from within the organisation.

"However, after many years of doing this, it becomes increasingly challenging to do this without damaging service levels.  

“This year we are also under pressure from inflation, increased energy and fuel prices and cost of living increases. But we have worked hard to find savings and so can keep the council tax rise to a minimum – only £1.44 for the year for most residents.  

“The additional income will enable us to be there for the people of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough delivering all our services, both reactive and proactive, that continue to keep people safe.” 
 
Deputy Chief Executive for Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, Matthew Warren, said the service was “one of the best” for value for money. 

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We are one of the lowest cost fire and rescue services per head of population in the country, yet we have been inspected as one of the best for effectiveness, efficiency and value for money.  

“We are massively grateful for the support we receive from the public and that includes supporting small council tax increases.  

“It’s not something we like to do, but it becomes necessary if we want to try to maintain our emergency and community safety services, to save lives and keep people safe.” 
 
Have your say by completing a short survey at: https://forms.office.com/r/ZR2YnSKcPM 
 
You can also email enquiries@cambsfire.gov.uk, use the feedback form on the website, comment on Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service’s social media channels or ring 01480 444500 between 8.30am and 5pm to share your thoughts. 

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