The Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority (KMFRA) has announced its council tax for 2015/16.
The Authority has agreed an increase of 1.95%, which means a 2.5 pence per week increase (£1.35 a year ) for an average band D household.
Nick Chard, Chairman of KMFRA said: "Local people value the service we provide and want to preserve it. The Authority is very mindful about providing the most efficient and effective service we can at the best price for Kent and Medway residents. An increase of just 1.95% will allow us to maintain a good level of emergency cover while continuing to make the necessary efficiency savings in a planned and gradual way.
"The increase is 2.5 pence per week for a band D household, or £1.35 a year. We believe this is still good value for money for a round the clock service, dealing with all kinds of emergencies, from floods to explosions, fires to road traffic collisions."
Note to editors:
- A band D household will pay £70.65 for the KMFRA element of their Council Tax in 2015/16. The increase for a band D household is 2.5 pence per week or £1.35 a year.
- The decision followed a nine week consultation on the level of Council Tax for 2015/16 (from 20 November 2014 to 14 January 2015).
- Over 79% of respondents favoured an increase (45.3% favoured a 1.95% increase; 34.19% an increase over 2%; 20.5% a zero increase).
- Since 2010/11 the Authority has found £14m (around 20% of the total budget) as part of a savings and investment programme. As a result of this planned approach the Authority has managed to make the necessary savings, whilst still maintaining good emergency cover across the county. Investment in frontline services has included new technology that can fight fires more effectively such as high powered fire suppression systems, increased training and improved protective clothing for firefighters.