Mansfield and Ashfield residents asked for views on council tax contribution for Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service

Residents are being asked for their views on how much they should pay for their fire and rescue services.

Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue Service is asking residents whether their annual contribution, which is levied through council tax, should be frozen for the coming financial year.

Last financial year, the level was kept at the same amount as it had been for the previous year and the Fire Authority received a freeze grant from the government.

It meant that someone living in a band D property paid a total of £69.69 that year for the service.

This year, the government is offering a freeze grant again in return for no increase in council tax.

The grant is just for one year and the Fire Authority will have to decide whether to accept the incentive or increase council tax and sacrifice the freeze grant.

Council tax contributions make up half of the fire service’s budget while the other half comes from central government.

But over the coming years, government contributions are likely to be slashed.

This financial year, the service is expected to receive £21,864million - around £2.5m less than it was given two years ago.

Further cuts are anticipated in the coming years, which could lead to a possible reduction of £8m in funding by 2015.

The options that form part of the consultation are:

A two per cent increase in council tax every year over two years

A three per cent increase every year over three years

A zero per cent increase this financial year followed by an increase of 3.5 per cent in each of the following two years.

The sum will be decided at a Fire Authority meeting on 24th February.

The decision will be reviewed again this time next year when the level is set for the financial year 2013/14.

To take part in the consultation, call Nottinghamshire Fire and Rescue headquarters on (0115) 967 0880 or email enquiries@notts-fire.gov.uk. Comments should be submitted by 20th February.