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Council tax rise planned by Essex Fire Authority

Seven new fire engines bought by Essex County Fire and Rescue Service. Photo: David Stubbs

Seven new fire engines bought by Essex County Fire and Rescue Service. Photo: David Stubbs

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Essex fire brigade is looking to put up its share of council tax by 1.9% next year.

Budget plans set out by Essex Fire Authority include the rise – equivalent to an increase of £1.26 on a Band D home – within them.

It means a Band D property will pay £67.68 a year within its council tax bill to fund Essex County Fire and Rescue Service.

The budget papers reveal the brigade is facing a £2.073m reduction in government grant next year.

While it also shows a small reduction in the number of firefighters and associated wages, any decisions which may be made as part of its modernisation programme – which could see up to 234 firefighters axed from the service – are not included in the budget.

A final decision on the project to re-shape the brigade is not due until June.

There are limited spending plans within the draft budget, but a £1m project to upgrade the fleet workshops plus ongoing vehicle replacement costs are included.

Essex Fire Authority will debate and decide on the budget next month.

Essex County Tendring District councils have already revealed plans to raise their share of council tax, while Colchester Borough Council is proposing a freeze.

The policing budget plans are due to be released today.

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