RESIDENTS across Greater Manchester will pay more Council Tax to support the countyâ€™s fire and rescue service â€“ but only 78p A YEAR for most people.
Members of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority (GMFRA) agreed a 1.99 per cent rise in their part of the Council Tax at a meeting this morning (Thursday, February 16).
But the increase, which will be listed as the fire and rescue service â€˜preceptâ€™ on household bills, equates to just 78p extra for the whole year on a Band A property and Â£1.17 extra for the year on a Band D home.
The Service is the second largest fire and rescue service in England, looking after around 2.7 million people across the 10 boroughs of Greater Manchester.
It provides emergency response through 41 fire stations and an operational crew of around 1,300 uniformed officers working a 24/7 shift pattern on four watches.
In 2016, Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service:
In addition, the Service operates a number of other functions to the benefit of its communities including:
Councillor David Acton, Chairman of Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority, explained: â€œNo one at Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Authority made the decision to increase our part of Council Tax bills lightly but local people should be reassured these are miniscule amounts of money equating to less than Â£1 for the whole year for most people. Thatâ€™s less than 2p a week extra.
â€œBut collectively, the extra money means we can keep more firefighters on the front line, more fire engines â€˜on the runâ€™ and keep all our fire stations open providing vital emergency response for local people when they need us.
â€œThe increase is tiny for local people but will make a huge difference to the service we can provide to local people.â€
Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service remains one of the lowest-cost and highest performing emergency services in the UK. It is the only Fire and Rescue Service in the country to have been awarded a five-star â€˜excellentâ€™ rating from the British Quality Foundation.
At the same time the Authority charges most people in Greater Manchester less than Â£1 a week for its services â€“ a Band A property just Â£39.96 a year and for a Band D property Â£59.95.
GMFRA is currently the second lowest charging fire and rescue service in England, charging just Â£59.95 per Band D household each year compared to Durham Fire and Rescue Service which charges more than Â£95.
The majority of people in Greater Manchester live in homes categorised as Band A and will pay less than Â£1 per week for their fire and rescue service or Â£39.92.
Chairman Councillor David Acton explained: â€œMost households pay about Â£40 a year for our services. We are among the lowest-cost emergency services in the country and yet our performance indicators also show we are among the best. Iâ€™m proud weâ€™re able to deliver this and keep our share of the Council Tax low.â€
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