Thursday 23 May 2024
12.7 C
Nottingham

Notts Fire to meet over budget proposals and council tax for next year

Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service has released its detailed budget proposals for 2024/25 to 2027/28.

 

Highlights of the Budget Proposals

Council Tax Recommendations: The report suggests a range of options for Council Tax increases, varying from a freeze to a maximum hike of 2.99%. This decision aims to balance the need for sufficient funding against the financial burden on taxpayers.

A 2.95% additional increase in Council Tax will create additional funding in the region of £1.290m. A 1.95% additional increase in Council Tax will create additional funding in the region of £991k.

- Advertisement -

Capital Budget Projections: The budget allocates significant funds for replacing ageing fire appliances and other vehicles, ICT replacements, and ensuring properties are fit for purpose. A total of £8.228 million is planned for 2024/25, with adjustments expected based on the previous year’s expenditure.

Focus on Modernization and Efficiency: A notable aspect is the Futures 25 Efficiency Programme, aiming to streamline operations and improve service delivery. This includes investments in the workforce and structural redesigns for better efficiency.

Pension and Pay Awards: The budget includes provisions for firefighter pay awards and addresses the financial implications of recent pension legislation, such as the McCloud judgement ( This addresses the transition arrangements into the 2015 firefighters’ pension scheme which was found to be discriminatory ).

Another pensions case, Matthews and O’Brien, identified discriminatory conditions for part-time workers. Remedying legislation similarly became law in October 2023. On-call firefighters were previously allowed to purchase modified pension scheme service going back to 2000, but this legislation allows further backdating of the modified pension scheme to the fire service start dates of eligible on-call firefighters. When the modified scheme was created the backdated costs were met by the Government, and it is expected that this will similarly be the case for costs relating to further backdating.

Reserves 

Taking account of the spending position reported in the budget monitoring report elsewhere on this agenda, total reserve levels held at 1 April 2024 are expected to be £10.3m.

Economic Climate Considerations: The proposals consider the broader economic context, including inflation rates, interest rates, and the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) figures, ensuring that the budget aligns with current economic realities.

Risks and Challenges: The report outlines the primary risks facing the Authority, including the ability to set a balanced budget in the current economic climate and the potential impact on the Firefighters Pension Scheme due to ongoing legal cases.

 

The proposals will be discussed at a Nottinghamshire and City of Nottingham Fire and Rescue Authority Finance and Resources Committee meeting next week.

Follow The Wire on TikTok, Facebook, X, Instagram. Send your story to newsdesk@westbridgfordwire.com or via WhatsApp on 0115 772 0418

 

Latest