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Berkshire fire service wants to hear your views on its future

THE FUTURE of the fire service is being placed into the hands of residents after a new consultation has been launched.

The Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service (RBFRS) wants to hear the public’s views of the Royal Berkshire Fire Authority’s (RBFA) draft Corporate Plan and Integrated Risk Management Plan (IRMP), which will run from next year until 2023.

The plan contains RBFA’s key commitments to the public and explains the way it intends to deliver services over the next four years.  

The IRMP section of the plan outlines how RBFRS identifies and assesses all fire and rescue related risks that could affect Royal Berkshire’s communities. This includes incidents that are routinely dealt with, such as fires and vehicle accidents to incidents that occur less frequently, such as large-scale flooding.

RBFA is consulting on five key projects, which it has identified to be delivered through its prevention, protection and response activities.

The consultation also includes questions on how RBFRS manages its resources in order to deliver a value for money service.

Respondents will be asked for their views on whether they would like to see extra financial flexibility for their fire and rescue service.

Cllr Colin Dudley, Chairman of RBFA, said: “Royal Berkshire Fire Authority is committed to delivering value for money. As one of the lowest precepting Authorities in the Country we have a proven track record of prudence and sound financial management.”

“Residents pay just over £64 per year, or £1.23 per week for the vital services provided by the Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service.

“We would like the flexibility to be able to increase the annual council tax charge for your Fire and Rescue Service by £5 per year, or just under 10p per week.”

“We in the Fire Authority think this small increase, to maintain such vital emergency services, would still represent remarkable value for money.”

“We are really keen to hear your views on our latest plan, so please have your say and help shape the future of your fire and rescue service.”

People can take part in the consultation in a number of ways:

Visit: rbfrs.co.uk/haveyoursay

Call: 0118 945 2888

Write to: Newsham Court, Pincents Kiln, Calcot, Reading, Berkshire, RG31 7SD

It runs until 5pm on Friday, September 28.

Phil Creighton

Editor of The Wokingham Paper, and has worked in local journalism for more than 20 years including the Wokingham Times, Bracknell Standard and Reading Evening Post. He's also written for computer magazines, The Baptist Times and, to his delight and probably not yours, interviewed several Doctor Whos.

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