A public consultation has been launched to help County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service plan for the future as further cuts to government grant funding are expected.
The consultation will run until 8th February 2016 when the Combined Fire Authority, made up of local councillors from County Durham and the borough of Darlington, will meet to set CDDFRS spending levels for the financial year ahead.
Funding for the fire and rescue service comes from two main sources: a government grant, providing approximately 42% of the total, and precept payments from local taxpayers and non-domestic rate-payers in County Durham and Darlington, which make up the remaining 58%.
Since 2010 the service has transformed the way it provides services to the community in response to a £4.9m cut in central government funding. In 2016/17 it is expected that grant funding from government will be cut once again forcing the fire authority to consider further proposals to reduce costs.
Before these decisions are made CDDFRS is keen to consult people living and working in the area about five proposals which could affect spending and the way the Service is run.
The consultation document, which is linked to the CDDFRS three year strategic plan 2015 to 2018, includes background information about the performance of the Service and its role.
Five consultation questions, including information relating to each one, are set out in this document.
Colin Bage, deputy chief fire officer for County Durham and Darlington Fire and Rescue Service, said: “We would be very grateful if people could spare a few minutes to take part in our consultation.
“This is your fire and rescue service, funded by you and in existence to protect the community. Your help is invaluable to us as we prepare to make these decisions about future spending priorities.
“It is important to stress that of the five proposals we are consulting on, none of them include closure of fire stations in County Durham and Darlington or a reduction in the number of fire appliances that we run.”
Answers and comments can be submitted online by clicking here.
The consultation document can be seen here.
For a hard copy of the document please call 0845 3058383 or email [email protected]
The consultation will run until February 2016 and the results will be published in March 2016.