Dorset and Wilts FRS deny cuts will hit frontline
31 August 2017
DORSET AND Wiltshire Fire Service (DWFS) has denied claims that budget cuts will lead to the removal of any fire appliances or station closures.
DWFS will lose a quarter of its funding by 2020, which equates to the third biggest budget cut face any fire and rescue service in the UK. The Service is looking at ways of making the required cost savings without affecting front line services. This will include continuing to merge support staff departments.
Dorset and Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority chairman councilor Spencer Flower told the Bournemouth Echo: “We knew before setting the budget for this year that we faced a reduction in government grant of 27 per cent over four years, and we have planned accordingly.
“As well as maintaining our level of operational response, we are also continuing to invest in prevention and protection activity to help keep our communities safe and well.”
Chief fire officer Ben Ansell added: “Last year, our Band D fire precept was £69.21, compared to a national average for of £73.14. We achieved £4 million worth of cashable and non-cashable savings in order to help balance the 2016-17 budget.
“In spite of our combination, we received one of the worst financial settlements for Combined Fire Authorities in England and Wales and, as such, we are constantly reviewing all aspects of our service to identify ways we can improve efficiency and make our money go even further.
“We are consolidating contracts and working with others to procure key support services to maximise our savings.”