Improving Efficiency

Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Authority is dedicated to improving the quality of the services it provides and at the same time, ensuring that it offers the best possible value for money.

Last year we achieved around £1.7m worth of savings, nearly £0.39m more than the figure set in our budget for 2016/17. Over the past seven years we have saved approximately £18.5m.

The Government continues to highlight the requirement for reductions in public spending and we know that over the next three years we will need to meet a financial challenge equating to around £1.813m

We need to achieve these savings and still deliver a high-quality and effective service. This will require changing the way we work whilst also keeping our equipment and technology up-to-date.

The need to generate these savings is reflected in the Authority’s four-year Medium Term Financial  Strategy (MTFS). This Strategy is a fundamental part of our strategic planning process and ensures that we have the financial resources we need in order to achieve the improvements planned. The MTFS also reflects the need to generate efficiencies by continuing to explore new ways of delivering our services.

The MTFS includes both capital and revenue expenditure and income. The capital budget is used to fund the purchase of assets, such as vehicles, equipment, property and information systems.

Just over 45% of our funding comes from Council Tax - for example, we receive £77.62 from each Band D property.  Council Tax income equates to £21.765m which is a 1.99% increase from the previous year. This increase will support us in delivering the best possible fire and rescue service, as described in this Plan, in the current economic environment

Changing the way we work

We have a track record of using our Integrated Risk Management Planning (IRMP) process to make significant changes to the shape of our service.  This ensures that services are planned, designed and delivered in a way that balances available resources and community risk.  We will continue to use this process to change the service, strengthen prevention, reduce costs and manage the risk in our communities.

We will also continue to work with our partners as by working in partnership, we are able to deliver better services to the community. We have strong working relationships with Northumbria Police, North East Ambulance Service, other fire and rescue services, local authorities and many other agencies. Working together we can share best practice, consider opportunities for joint procurement, and combine functions where appropriate.