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Small precept rise approved by Fire Authority today

West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Authority has today (Thursday, February 21) approved a 2.99% increase to the precept.

This will result in a band D property paying £64.59 in their council tax bill, an increase of £1.87 from last year.

The fire authority has been prudent over a long period of time which has enabled us to limit the increase whilst continuing to provide a first class fire and rescue service to the people of West Yorkshire.

In 2018 we have trained 67 new recruit firefighters, and we have a further 25 now in training, in order to maintain our operational staff, to keep the people of West Yorkshire safe.

We have also invested in firefighter safety by furnishing firefighters with the best of equipment to do the job and we have targeted our fire prevention work and home visit programme at the most vulnerable people in our communities.

Meanwhile, the fire authority has lost a further £0.4m of grant in 2019/2020 as part of the four year Central Government settlement.

In 2018/19 we lost £1.34m.

Chair of the Fire Authority, Councillor Judith Hughes said: “It is testament to the Authority’s prudent planning and horizon scanning that we are able to keep the rise in precept to a minimum despite the current financial climate.

“We are proud of the service that we deliver to the people of West Yorkshire, offering value for money to the taxpayer and investing in our people and their safety also.

“Over the last nine years, since 2010, we have managed to keep the precept increase to only £12.18 in total for a band D council tax payer and we are still one of the lowest costing fire services in the country.”

Chief Fire Officer John Roberts said: “This precept increase in West Yorkshire is, in my opinion, still great value for money for the excellent emergency service we provide.

“Whilst we do have to meet a challenging financial environment, we have still seen some exciting developments over the last year and we continue to thank the public for their support.”