Fire and Rescue Services: Finance

Home Office written question – answered on 26th May 2016.

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Photo of Sammy Wilson Sammy Wilson Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Treasury), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Work and Pensions), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Education)

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, how much funding the Government made available to fire and rescue authorities over the last five years; how much such funding the Government plans to make available to such authorities over the next five years; and what assessment her Department has made of the effect of changes in levels of funding over the next five years on each fire and rescue authority area.

Photo of Mike Penning Mike Penning The Minister of State, Home Department, The Minister of State, Ministry of Justice

Like all other local authorities fire and rescue authorities have had to play their part in reducing the national deficit. Fire and rescue services have coped well with savings to date: the numbers of incidents and fire deaths and injuries have all fallen to an historic low. The 2013 Knight Review provided clear evidence of the scope for fire and rescue authorities to make further efficiencies.

The table below shows the funding provided to single-purpose fire and rescue authorities.

Single purpose Fire and Rescue Authorities Funding

2011-12

£0.996 bn

2012-13

£1.014 bn

2013-14

£1.083 bn

2014-15

£1.005 bn

2015-16

£0.917 bn

2016-17

£0.869 bn

County councils that include fire and rescue services will decide for themselves how to fund those services. However, we expect that county councils in this position will ensure that their fire and rescue services are able to maintain the same quality and breadth of services as single purpose authorities.

In 2013-14 the Government introduced a new funding system for local government. Under this system the sector retained 50% of business rates. It is therefore inappropriate to compare these amounts over time due to differences in the way that funding was provided in each year.

For the first time ever, the Government offers the opportunity of financial certainty for fire and rescue authorities, with the offer of a firm four-year settlement in return for robust efficiency plans.

Indicative funding allocations for 2017-18 to 2019-20 can be found at:

https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/498722/Key_info_for_local_authorities.xlsx

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