Our Government funding will be cut by £2.8m over the next four years (2016-2020). However, the final savings we will need to make will be influenced by factors such as inflation, cost of living pay increases, housing growth and council tax increases. We are currently working with staff to look at where savings can be made and we plan to present the Fire Authority with a proposal later in the year. These will be based on needing to find savings of £3.9m to cover the worst case scenario (adding inflation and cost of living pay award of one per cent).
As a result of the last Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR), we managed to find £4.2m of savings to offset the cut to our funding. This was achieved through a package of cuts including cutting each department budget by five per cent, changing the shift system that our wholetime firefighters operated and making changes to some departments which reduced the number of support staff in the Service.
By making some of the savings early in the last CRS, we were able to reinvest the money into one off purchases to upgrade some of our fire engines and fire and rescue equipment.