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DN 04/2024 – Fire Precept Proposal 2024/25

The PFCC has decided, after consultation with the public, to propose to the Police, Fire and Crime Panel a fire precept for 2024/25 of £83.02 for a Band D property within North Yorkshire. This would be an increase of 2.99%, or £2.41, per annum, from the 2023/24 level.

DN 02/2024
Date 27/02/2024


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 18 December 2023, the Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Michael Gove MP, set out the Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement for 2024-25 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 2.99% 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 2024/25, which had 2,680 responses, has resulted in 69% supporting an increase of 2.99% or above.

The overall results are summarised below:


(n=2,680 )

Telephone (n=996) Online


No more than I pay now

a precept freeze

31% 35% 28%
Up to £2.41 a year more

 (20 pence per month), an increase of 2.99%

15% 17% 15%
Up to £5 a year more

(42 pence per month), an increase of 6.2%

31% 32% 31%
Up to £7.50 a year more

(62 pence per month), an increase of 9.3%

23% 16% 27%
TOTAL who support an increase of at least 2.99% 69% 65% 72%

In looking at the public opinion, a clear majority (69%) supporting an increase to the precept of 2.99%, which is the level proposed.

Decision Record

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 2024/25 of £83.02 for a Band D property within North Yorkshire. This would be an increase of 2.99% (or £2.41) per annum, from the 2023/24 level.

Zoë Metcalfe

Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire

Statutory Officer Advice

Legal, Management and Equality Implications

The PCC’s CEO and Monitoring Officer has advised that

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 continues to be felt throughout the Service with cost increases in 2024/25 alone estimated at £3.4m.
  • 2024/25 will see an increase in employers contribution rates into the Firefighter Pension Scheme from 28.8% to 37.6% – this is expected to increase costs by £1.5m. This is expected to be fully funded by the Government, however if it is not then there is a potential additional pressure to add to the plans.
  • The current position assumes that the Firefighter pay will increase by 3%, and staff by 2.5%. Any pay awards in excess of these levels will be exceptionally difficult for the Service to fund.
  • Reserves are forecast to reduce from £7.4m at the start of the 2023/24 financial year to around £3.1m by the end of the MTFP period – this provide very little scope to absorb any future cost pressures.
  • Any changes between now and the end of February will be incorporated into the 2024/25 Budget and Medium Term Financial Plan for approval by the PFCC at the end of February 2024.
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