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Fire Services: Finance

Volume 472: debated on Monday 25 February 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what factors she took into account in determining the grant award to (a) North Yorkshire fire authority and (b) Humberside fire authority for 2008-09 to 2011-12; and if she will make a statement. (186455)

The distribution of formula grant takes into account the relative needs and potential to raise income locally (resources) of an authority, relative to all other authorities providing the same service. It also contains a central allocation and a floor damping mechanism.

For fire and rescue authorities, the needs component is measured through the Fire and Rescue Relative Needs Formula (RNF) and the Capital Finance RNF. The Fire and Rescue RNF takes into account the resident population, coastline, deprivation, high-risk sites, property and societal risk and community fire safety. The capital finance RNF takes into account assumed outstanding debt and supported capital expenditure (revenue).

The resources element uses a measure of the council tax base (number of band D equivalent properties).

The Government consulted on the formula grant distribution system between 17 July and 10 October 2007, and on the provisional grant settlements for the next three years from 6 December 2007 to 8 January 2008. I announced the 2008-09 and provisional 2009-10 and 2010-11 settlements on 24 January 2008. Within this, I confirmed that:

(a) North Yorkshire fire and rescue authority also receive £1.71 million, £1.5 million and £1.3 million from the floor damping mechanism in respective years. This will ensure that they receive increases of 1 per cent., 0.5 per cent. and 0.5 per cent. in grant on a like for like basis respectively; and

(b) Humberside fire authority also contribute £2.1 million, £1.5 million and £1 million to the floor damping mechanism in respective years. However, they receive increases of 5.8 per cent., 3.5 per cent. and 3.3 per cent. in grant on a like for like basis respectively.