Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority

Precept Information 2018-2019

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 2018/19 Government grant support has been cut by £15.5m 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 £11m 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 £11m 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 2018/19 approved budget will deliver the £11m required savings by 2019/20 although some small self-balancing adjustments were required within the £9.1m non-operational savings and technical assumptions.

Approximately 75% of the budget remains committed to delivering operational response and preventative services as these functions have been recognised as priority areas by the public following extensive consultation.

merseyfire chart

 

As a consequence of the financial challenge facing the Authority it must adhere to its approved financial plan and increase council tax by just below 3% (the maximum allowable without holding a public referendum). The Band D Council Tax is therefore now £76.56. Most council taxpayers in Merseyside will pay Band A Council Tax of £51.04 about 14p per day towards their Fire and Rescue Service.

The Authority has set a budget of £59.701m for 2018/19, £0.2m higher than that in 2017/18. The main changes between this year’s budget and last year’s are:

Reductions in support service, management & other costs (£0.2m)
Unavoidable cuts in front line staffing (£0.9m)
Forecast inflationary cost increases £1.3m
  £0.2m

The Authority has issued a precept on the five Merseyside District Councils of £27.946 million, which is equivalent to a Council Tax of £76.56 for a Band D property. Sefton’s contribution to expenditure financed by precept is £6.350 million, which represents 23% of the total precept.


Summary of Revenue Budget & Council Tax Requirement

2017/2018

£000

 

2018/2019

£000

77,181 Gross Expenditure 75,269
-9,732 Net Contribution from Reserves -4,802
-7,959 Income & specific Grants for services -10,766
59,490 Budget Requirement 59,701
     
-221 Collection Fund & Business Rates Surplus -336
-32,468 Government Grant & Business Rate Funding -31,419
     
26,801 Council Tax Requirement 27,946
     
360,517 Tax-base 365,022
£74.34 Band D Equivalent £76.56

Contact the Merseyside Fire and Rescue Authority

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 and 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 12 March 2018