Earlier today Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority (the Authority) approved our Community Risk Management Plan (2022-27). The plan outlines the risks in our communities and how we intend to manage them over the next five years.
The plan was presented along with findings from the consultation which took place between 15 November 2021 and 14 January 2022 so that the Authority could make an informed decision when approving the plan.
Councillor Sara Randall-Johnson, Chair of Devon and Somerset Fire and Rescue Authority, said:
“We’re here to ensure that the people of Devon and Somerset are protected and supported by an effective and efficient fire and rescue service.
“We’re pleased to see that the Service engaged with residents, businesses and their staff in developing this five-year plan and that this feedback has been considered. We are therefore confident in approving adoption of the plan which supports our vision to end preventable fire and rescue emergencies.”
Chief Fire Officer Lee Howell said:
“Devon and Somerset are great places to live, with a diverse mix of rural, coastal, urban cities and small market towns.
“But this also creates a range of different risks with may lead to an emergency, which we will need to respond to; but will ideally like to prevent happening in the first place.
“Risks change over time. Some things we can predict, the increase in the use of electric cars for example, and we will review this strategic plan annually to identify any emerging trends.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has shown us that sometimes, change happens unexpectedly. I’m really proud of how we, and our partners, including other emergency services, adapted during this time to keep the public safe. We have learnt much over the last two years and will increasingly use community partnerships moving forward to support our prevention-first approach.
“Our Community Risk Management Plan will focus our work over the next five years on reducing the likelihood of incidents and being able to respond effectively when we are needed.”
We will prepare the final plan over the next few weeks and will publish it before April when it will replace our current plans.
Head over to our Community Risk Management Plan webpage to read the draft plan and findings from the recent consultation.
At the same meeting, the Authority also set the Service’s revenue budget and level of council tax it receives (precept) for the 2022/23 financial year.
Councillor Randall-Johnson added:
“The Authority is aware of the increasing cost of living. A survey of 800 residents and businesses reflected that an increase in council tax levels was reasonable. Demonstrating that people truly value their fire and rescue service. ”
The precept increase will help balance the budget and pay for investment in the Service. The 1.99% increase approved is the equivalent of an extra £1.79 for a Band D property.