Fire service asks council for £8.9m for services – over £400,000 more than last year
Lewis Smith Local Democracy Reporter
A Welsh council could face an increase of more than £400,000 for its annual contribution to the South Wales Fire Authority next year, with much of the increase down to fuel and pension costs.
The South Wales Fire Authority released its latest budget plans for the 2024-25 financial year, with a potential increase of 5.2% for Bridgend Council, resulting in an extra £445,886 being added to its yearly bill.
Fuel, equipment and pension costs
It will go towards covering increases in the price of fuel and equipment, as well as pressures from pension costs, and costs with current year pay awards said to be “exceeding the approved budget.”
The proposed budget is just over £94.5million, which is around £5 million more than last year, with Bridgend Council expected to contribute a total sum of £8.9 million.
It comes as local councils across Wales begin to prepare their own annual budgets for 2024-25, with many predicting their most difficult year to date in balancing the books.
The latest budget increase will mean each of the ten councils contributing more than they do currently to the service, however it is not spread evenly as the budget is partly based on population figures, with the projection for 2024-25 showing a slight decline in Bridgend’s population by 0.61%.
Rises across all local authorities
Elsewhere in the south Wales service area, Cardiff Council will see an increase in 7.7%, Newport Council 7.2%, Merthyr Tydfil 4.0%, and The Vale Of Glamorgan, 5.3%.
The report also provided figures on the service’s half year performance, with the number of deaths and injuries falling from 32 to 22 over the course of the year, though it also added that there was currently an overspend of around £1.3m.
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