Cost of living increases sees council tax precept rise

High inflation and rising energy bills have led to an increase in this year’s council tax precept for fire.

Chief Fire Officer John Roberts

The West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority has approved a slight rise in its portion of council tax. Compared to the previous year, the rise will be six pence per week for Band A taxpayers, and 10p per week for Band D taxpayers.

However, despite the rise, the West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority precept remains the fourth lowest cost-per-head-of-population in the country.

The authority took this decision following a survey earlier this year, where members of the public were asked if they would be prepared to pay the slight increase to help keep communities in West Yorkshire safe. Nearly 80 percent of respondents agreed with this.

Chair Cllr Darren O’Donovan said: “Over the last few years we have been able to invest in our staff and services through careful financial management and planning. This is despite the impact of austerity and the fact the authority has not received capital funding - to pay for assets like fire stations - from the Government since 2014.

“Our prudency has allowed us to maintain equipment, invest in new technology, improve training, and modernise our buildings – making us one of the most effective and efficient fire and rescue services in the country.

“While I understand it’s a difficult ask that we are making of local taxpayers, this increase will help us maintain our services and continue to provide the excellent fire and rescue service that our community deserves.”

Chief Fire Officer John Roberts added: “The rising cost of living is having an impact across the board, including at the fire and rescue service. High inflation rates and vastly increased energy bills could mean less for West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority to spend next year.

“This slight rise will allow the service to be able to keep its current commitments, all aimed at making West Yorkshire safer for all who live, work, and visit it.”