DN 01/2023 – Fire Precept Proposal 2023/24
Fire Precept Proposal 2023/24
The PFCC has decided, after consultation with the public, to propose to the Police, Fire and Crime Panel a fire precept for 2023/24 of £80.61 for a Band D property within North Yorkshire. This would be an increase of £5 (or 6.6%) per annum, from the 2022/23 level.
Legislation requires that the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner (PFCC) agrees their budget and associated precept and basic council tax for the forthcoming year before 1st March each year. However before doing so the PCC must notify the relevant Police, Fire and Crime Panel, by the 31st January, of the precept which they propose to issue for the following financial year.
On 19 December 2022, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove MP, set out the Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement for 2023-24 in the form of a Written Ministerial Statement
The Provisional Settlement sets council tax referendum thresholds for Fire Authority’s and enables an increase of £5 for a Band D property before a referendum is required.
Consultation with the public of North Yorkshire has been undertaken to help inform the PFCC of their views in relation to precept increase for the Fire Service.
The results of consultation with the public of North Yorkshire in relation to the level of Fire precept for 2023/24, which had 2,343 responses, has resulted in 52% supporting an increase of £5 or above.
The overall results are summarised below:
|No more than I pay now
a precept freeze
|Up to £2.26 a year more
(19 pence per month), an increase of 2.99%
|Up to £5 a year more
(42 pence per month), an increase of 6.6%
|Up to £7.50 a year more
(63 pence per month), an increase of 9.9%
|TOTAL who support an increase of at least £5||52%||49%||55%|
In looking at the public opinion, a clear majority (70%) support an increase to the precept, with 52% support for an increase of at least £5 which is the level proposed.
The PFCC, having consulted with the public and taken their opinion on board, has reviewed the advice of her officers in relation to the current financial position of the Fire Service and the service’s need for an increase in funding to balance the current budget.
With this in mind, the PFCC has decided to propose to the Police, Fire and Crime Panel a Fire precept for 2023/24 of £80.61 for a Band D property within North Yorkshire. This would be an increase of £5 (or 6.6%) per annum, from the 2022/23 level.
Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire
Statutory Officer Advice
Legal, Management and Equality Implications
The Commissioner’s Chief Executive and Monitoring Officer, having read this report and having considered such information as has been provided at the time of being asked to express this view, is satisfied that this report does not ask the Commissioner to make a decision which would (or would be likely to) give rise to a contravention of the law.
Financial and Commercial
The PFCC’s Chief Finance Officer and S151 Officer has advised that the financial implications of this Decision are set out in the Executive Summary and/or the attached report that is proposed to be sent to the Police, Fire and Crime Panel. The decision will ensure that the PFCC meets her legislative requirements in relation with the Fire element of the precept.
The CFO would like to bring the following to the attention of the PFCC in making this decision:
- The PFCC inherited a Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) from the former Fire Authority that had an underlying £1.2m annual imbalance, and organisational plans that would have seen this imbalance increase to at least £2.5m across the life of that 4 year plan. A significant amount of work has been done to stabilise the financial position of the organisation after the transfer of Governance.
- The impact of inflationary pressures is been felt throughout the Service with cost increases in 2023/24 alone estimated at £3.3m.
- The proposed precept, combined with increases in Government funding, is expected to increase funding by £2.8m, with the remaining gap being funded through non-pay savings.
- The proposals incorporate the outcomes from the recent Risk and Resource Model decision with all savings and efficiencies being generated from the agreed changes being re-invested into Prevention and Protection, the provision of the On-Call service.
- The current position assumes that the Firefighter pay offer of 5%, relating to 2022/23, is accepted and that the 2023/24 pay award is 4%. There are on-going discussions in relation to this and should higher pay awards be agreed then the current proposal will need to be reconsidered.
- Any changes between now and the end of February will be incorporated into the 2023/24 Budget and Medium Term Financial Plan for approval by the PFCC at the end of February 2023.
- Published on