THE fire precept – the element of council tax which pays for fire services – will be increasing by 1.99 per cent in 2020-21.

Cheshire Fire Authority recently sought views on its proposal to increase its share of council tax by that rate.

And members approved the authority’s proposed budget for 2020-21, including the precept rise, during a meeting on Wednesday.

The increase will see the precept levied by the authority on the average band D property in the county increase by £1.55 per year, approximately 3p per week, to £79.29.

It says this will enable it to continue to maintain fire prevention, protection and emergency response services, in addition to costs such as inflation, fuel and equipment.

Labour Cheshire East councillor Nick Mannion said it was a ‘prudent’ budget but stated he believes it was prepared ‘on the assumption that austerity is here for at least another 12 months’.

As reported earlier this month, Cheshire residents are set to pay an extra £10 a year on average to fund policing over 2020-21.

It came after Cheshire’s Police and Crime Panel supported police and crime commissioner David Keane’s proposed budget and precept increase.