Future Council Tax Changes For Greater Manchester Will See a Freeze In Funding For The Fire & Rescue Services, But A Rise To Support Law Enforcement

Future Council Tax changes for Greater Manchester will see a freeze in funding for Greater Manchester Fire & Rescue Services, but a rise to support law enforcement reform.

Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham and the ten borough leaders of Greater Manchester Combined Authority voted last week to freeze part of local council tax in order to reduce “financial burden” on the public.

A unanimous decision was made to suspend the Mayoral General Precept. This is part of council tax paid by residents, usually used mainly to fund the Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service.

It has been confirmed that on the next round of council tax bills, the Mayoral General Precept will remain at £70.73 for Band B properties. Whilst £51.48 of this (around 73%) will go to Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service, the other £19.25 will go towards other Mayoral-funded services.

The GMCA also confirmed that this freeze will not impact fire service frontline cover or the ‘A Bed Every Night’ scheme, which aims to provide a bed, warm welcome, and personal support for any person sleeping rough or at imminent risk of sleeping rough in Greater Manchester.

Mayor Andy Burnham emphasised that there is still a need for the Government to do more with regards to properly funding Greater Manchester councils. He noted:

“We will not be able to level-up this country after the pandemic on the shattered foundations of local finance.”

There are new plans for reform in law enforcement however, which will result in an average council tax increase of £7.77 (15p per week). This extra money will be used to help fund an additional 325 officers, and residents will also be assigned their own police officer and police community support officer.

This follows the news that came at the end of last year, whereby it was confirmed that 80,000 cases were unreported by Greater Manchester Police.

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