Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority

Precept Information 2017-2018

Historically the Authority has relied upon Government grants to fund a significant proportion of its revenue budget, over 63% in 2010/11. In 2010 the Government announced an austerity plan to reduce national debt and manage the crisis in public finances. The plan incorporated significant reductions in Government grants paid to fire and rescue authorities. Compared to 2010/11 the Authority’s 2017/18 Government grant support has been cut by £13.8m or nearly 50% in real terms and further grant reductions have been announced up to 2019/20.  

After taking into account unavoidable future cost pressures and the impact of the reduction in the Government grants the Authority identified an £11.0m financial challenge for the period 2016/17 to 2019/20. In 2016 the Authority approved a four year financial plan (2016/17 – 2019/20) that would deliver the £11.0m saving by 2019/20. The plan was prepared on the basis that the Authority’s priority is to minimise the impact of grant reductions on frontline services by cutting management, technical and support costs in the first instance. In determining the saving options the Authority, after identifying £9.1m from technical and support areas, was left with no alternative but to find £1.9m savings from operational response.

The operational response budget cut will result in a further reduction in the number of firefighters employed by up to 49 posts or 7% of the current establishment. This will mean firefighter numbers have fallen from approximately 1,000 in 2010/11 to 620 by 2019/20. Some fire stations will no longer be staffed as they are now and the number of permanently available appliances will be further reduced.

Approximately 76% of the budget remains committed to delivering frontline response and preventative services as these functions have been recognised as priority areas by the public following extensive consultation.

merseyfire chart

 

The Authority has set a budget of £59.490 million for 2017/18, £2.0m lower than that in 2016/17. The main changes between this year’s budget and last year’s are:

Reductions in support service, management & other costs (£1.5m)
Unavoidable cuts in front line staffing (£1.4m)
Forecast inflationary cost increases £0.7m
New Government Apprenticeship Levy £0.2m
  (£2.0m)

The Authority has issued a precept on the five Merseyside District Councils of £26.801 million, which is equivalent to a Council Tax of £74.34 for a Band D property. Sefton’s contribution to expenditure financed by precept is £6,089 million, which represents 23% of the total precept.

Summary of Revenue Budget & Council Tax Requirement

2016/2017

£000

 

2017/2018

£000

72,205 Gross Expenditure 77,181
-4,316 Net Contribution from Reserves -9,732
-6,382 Income & specific Grants for services -7,959
61,507 Budget Requirement 59,490
     
-622 Collection Fund & Business Rates Surplus -221
-34,951 Government Grant & Business Rate Funding -32,468
     
25,934 Council Tax Requirement 26,801
     
355,792 Tax-base 360,517
£72.89 Band D Equivalent £74.34

 

Contact Us
The Authority values the opinions of the people it serves. If you wish to comment about the services of the Authority please contact Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters on 0151 296 4000.

Ian Cummins, CIPFA
Treasurer
Merseyside Fire & Rescue Authority
Fire and Rescue Service Headquarters,
Bridle Road,
Bootle, L30 4YD

Telephone: 0151 296 4000

E-Mail: iancummins@merseyfire.gov.uk


Last Updated on 13 March 2017

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