Dorset Fire Crews Hit Out at Fire Authority After it Ditches Plans to Raise Council Tax by 4p a Week for the Fire Service, Move Will Mean Cuts to Frontline Services
Dorset fire crews have hit out at the fire authority for ditching plans to raise 4.2p a week in council tax for the local fire service. The fire authority voted down the plans by 7 votes to 5 making cuts to frontline services inevitable.
The seven councillors voted against the proposal to increase council tax by £2.16 a year – 4.2p a week for band D households which was backed by the budget group, the community risk group, the chief officer and the chair of the fire authority. Instead they backed a council tax freeze for the fire service which will no longer ensure that frontline services are protected.
Karen Adams, FBU Dorset brigade secretary said: “We’re angry that these seven councillors went against all the professional advice they were being given. It beggars belief that they think the public would trade 4.2p a week for every household for cuts which will increase risk to life across the county.
“There are no more efficiencies to make, this is a slash and burn approach these councillors have taken. The chief officer is left with no alternative than to look to make savings from frontline cuts which he was trying to avoid at all costs.
“The local fire crews have made sacrifices and we’re facing the third year of a pay freeze with another 2 years of no more than 1% a year. With what we’re going through to protect local fire services this feels like a kick in the teeth.
“These will be real cuts and you don’t get more frontline than the 999 emergency service. The pre-election promises about protecting vital frontline services are now in the gutter.
“Keeping a first class fire service for the people of Dorset was in the gift of the fire authority. Instead they have decided that the price of a life is not worth 4.2 pence per week.”