CFOA notes that Local Government in England has once again received significant budget cuts in the 2015 Spending Review. Although it appears the government expect business rates changes and council tax increases to cover some of this shortfall, how these will work in relation to English Fire and Rescue Services, which have little capacity to influence business rates and in many areas have a separate precept to councils, remains to be seen.
We will have to wait for more detail of the likely impact on fire and rescue service from the local government finance settlement and as further analysis is undertaken in the coming days.
We hope the government will have considered the points we made within our submission to the spending review, in conjunction with the LGA, where we outlined a number of ways in which the government needs to help the FRS face future challenges. To read our full consultation response, click here.
We also noted the reiteration of the government’s desire to introduce a duty to collaborate and to place Fire Services under Police and Crime Commissioners where a local business case is made. CFOA have made our position on these matters clear in our response to the government’s consultation on the proposals, which can be found here.