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inform2011/12

Your Council Tax – what’s in it for you?

Rochford

District Council

Working together


Contents Page

What is Council Tax? 3

Who has to pay Council Tax? 4

Discounts 4

Exempt properties 5

Benefits 6

People with disabilities 6

How do I appeal? 7

Rochford District Council –

How we work out your Council Tax

8

Council Tax amounts for town

and parish areas

10

About Essex County Council 12

About Essex Police Authority 16

About Essex Fire Authority 20

How to contact us 24

More information

If you would like this information

in large print, Braille or another

language, please phone us on

01702 546366.

Cover image: Cherry Orchard Country Park

2 | A guide to your Council Tax 2011/12

Paying made easy

Sign up for direct debit

■ Sign up online or download a form

from our website www.rochford.gov.uk

■ Or phone us on 01702 318197

or 01702 318198. Have your Council

Tax account number and bank account

details ready and decide which

day of the month you would like

to pay (1st, 10th or 20th).

Pay over the phone or online

■ Phone our automated 24-hour

payment line on 0207 138 1976.

■ Or go to www.rochford.gov.uk

to pay online.

Manage your Council Tax online

Register for our online services and

help the environment by saving paper.

You can:

■ look at your account details and how

we work out your bill

■ find out how to pay your Council Tax

■ check your Council Tax band

■ look at reductions you can apply for

and other ways to cut your bills, and

■ look at your Council Tax Benefit and

Housing Benefit details and see how

we work them out.

Go to www.rochford.gov.uk or see the

back of your bill for more information

and other ways to pay.


Working together for you

In the past, Rochford District Council, Essex County Council, Essex Police Authority and

Essex Fire Authority have produced separate leaflets about the service we provide. As

part of a joint project, we have produced this booklet together to make it quicker and

easier to explain how we work out your Council Tax and how we use it. This is one

example of how we work together to save money and improve services.

What is Council Tax?

Council Tax is a tax local authorities charge

to raise money to pay for their services.

Almost every household has to pay

Council Tax, whether your home is a

house, bungalow, flat, maisonette,

mobile home or houseboat, and whether

you own or rent it.

Each property is in one of eight bands,

depending on how much it was worth on

1 April 1991.

Your Council Tax bill shows the band

your home is in.

Valuation Value of property

band on 1 April 1991

Band A Less than £40,001

Band B £40,001 to £52,000

Band C £52,001 to £68,000

Band D £68,001 to £88,000

Band E £88,001 to £120,000

Band F £120,001 to £160,000

Band G £160,001 to £320,000

Band H More than £320,000

We (Rochford District Council) collect your

Council Tax and put it into a separate

fund called the collection fund. We share

this fund with Essex County Council, Essex

Police Authority, Essex Fire Authority and

the parish and town councils.

Every £1 of Council Tax is shared in the

following way.

Essex Police

Authority

receive 9p

Rochford

District Council

receive 13p

(see note below)

Essex Fire Authority

receive 4p

Parish councils

receive 2p (see

note below)

Essex County

Council receive

72p

■ Essex County Council use Council Tax

to pay for services such as social

services, highways and libraries.

■ We use Council Tax to help pay for

services such as waste recycling,

planning, leisure services, developing

the economy and improving facilities

for our community.

Note – these are averages across all the

town and parish councils.

www.rochford.gov.uk | 3


Who has to pay

Council Tax?

At least one person in each household is

responsible for paying Council Tax.

In most cases the person (or people)

aged 18 or over nearest the top of the

following list will be responsible for

paying Council Tax:

■ Owner-occupiers

■ Leaseholders

■ People who pay rent

■ People who have a licence to occupy,

such as people who live in tied cottages

(housing related to their work)

■ People such as squatters, who live in

the property but have no legal interest

in it (that is, they don’t own or rent it)

■ People who own the property but

don’t live in it.

People such as tenants, married people

or civil partners can be jointly or

separately responsible for all the Council

Tax for their property.

4 | A guide to your Council Tax 2011/12

Discounts

Your Council Tax bill assumes that two

adults are living in your home. If you are

the only adult living there (as your main

home), we will reduce the bill by 25%.

If you own a furnished property and

no-one lives there as their main home,

we will reduce the bill by 10%.

When we look at the number of adults

living in a property, we do not count:

■ full-time students, student nurses,

apprentices and youth trainees

■ people who live in hospital

■ people who are being looked after in

care homes

■ people who are severely mentally

disabled

■ people staying in hostels for the

homeless or night shelters

■ 18- and 19-year-olds who are at or

have just left school

■ care workers working for low pay

(usually for a charity)

■ people caring for someone with a

disability, who is not their partner or

their child (a child is someone

under 18)

■ members of visiting forces and

international institutions

■ diplomats and their husbands or wives

(who are not British)

■ monks and nuns, and

■ people in prison (except people in

prison for not paying their Council Tax

or a fine relating to their Council Tax).


Exempt properties

You don’t have to pay Council Tax for

some properties. These are known as

‘exempt properties’.

If no-one lives in a property, it is exempt

if the property:

■ needs or is having major repairs or

structural alterations (exempt for up to

a year)

■ is owned by a charity (exempt for up

to six months)

■ is unfurnished (exempt for up to six

months)

■ is left empty and the owner or tenant who

was living there is in prison

■ is left empty by someone who has moved

to receive personal care in a hospital, a

care home, or somewhere else

■ is waiting for probate or letters of

administration to be granted (after

someone has died) and for up to six

months after the probate or letters are

granted

■ is empty because it is against the law

for anyone to live in it

■ is waiting to be lived in by a minister

of religion

■ is empty because the owner or tenant

who was living there has moved away

to care for someone

■ is owned by a student and they were

the last person to live there

■ has been repossessed and is still empty

■ is the responsibility of a trustee for

someone who has been made bankrupt

■ is a pitch for a caravan or mobile home,

or a mooring for a houseboat, or

■ is part of a property that also includes

another home and cannot be let

separately.

Homes are also exempt if the following

people live there.

■ Only students.

■ Only people under 18 years old.

■ Only people who have a severe

mental difficulty and who would

otherwise have to pay Council Tax.

■ A diplomat or member of international

organisations.

■ An elderly or disabled person living

in part of a home (an annexe) and

their relative lives in the other part of

the home.

Please contact us if you think your

property should be exempt from Council

Tax or you should pay a reduced rate.

You must tell us within 21 days about

anything that could affect an exemption

or discount you receive.

Rochford

District Council

Do it with a debit

Pay the easy way and sign

up for direct debit.

Choose whichever suits you best of the

following monthly payment dates.

Sign up online or download a form from

our website www.rochford.gov.uk or

phone us on 01702 318197 or 318198.

Have your Council Tax account number

and bank details ready.

www.rochford.gov.uk | 5


Benefits

Council Tax Benefit means that people who

get Income Support, Guarantee Pension

Credit, Jobseeker’s Allowance (income based)

or Employment and Support Allowance

(income based) do not normally pay Council

Tax, and that other people on low incomes

pay less Council Tax.

Second Adult Rebate may reduce your bill if

you share your home with other adults who are

on low incomes.

We also pay Housing Benefit to help people

pay their rent.

Make a claim as soon as you need help.

Don’t delay as you will lose money.

Claim by phoning:

■ us on 01702 318197 or 01702 318198

■ Jobcentre Plus on 0845 608 8575 if you are

of working age (under 60), or

■ The Pension Service on 0800 991234 if

you are of pension age (60 or over).

All rebates you are awarded should be

included on your Council Tax bill. Please tell

us if you think you qualify for help to pay your

Council Tax and it is not shown on your bill,

or if you need more information.

We will need you to fill in a form to claim

Housing Benefit or Council Tax Benefit. We

will also ask you to give us proof of things like

your identity, address, income and savings.

Changes

If you change your address, please tell us.

If we have reduced your Council Tax

or we are paying you Housing Benefit,

you must tell us about any change

that could affect your entitlement.

If you don’t, you may have to

repay any reductions granted

or overpaid benefit.

6 | A guide to your Council Tax 2011/12

People with

disabilities

You may be entitled to pay less

Council Tax if you, or someone

who lives with you, has a room

or extra space, or an extra

bathroom or kitchen, or uses a

wheelchair in your property, to

meet special needs relating to a

disability.

This means that people with

disabilities don’t have to pay

more Council Tax for the extra

space they need.

Difficulty paying?

Please contact us if you cannot

pay your Council Tax. Don’t wait

until you are in debt as this

makes it more difficult to sort

out the problem.


How do I appeal?

Valuation appeals

If you think your home should be in a

different valuation band, please contact

The Valuation Office Agency at 34

Southway, Colchester, Essex CO2 7BB.

You can also phone them on 01206

287100 or visit their website at

www.voa.gov.uk

They will tell you your rights and how to

appeal, if you are entitled to do so.

Other appeals

You can appeal to us if:

■ you think you should not have to pay

Council Tax at all because you do not

live in or own the property

■ you feel the property should be

exempt from Council Tax

■ you believe we have made a mistake

working out your bill

■ we have not given you a discount, or

■ we have not reduced your bill because

you or someone you live with has a

disability.

If you disagree with our decision, you

have two months to appeal to a

Valuation Tribunal.

If you have applied for Council Tax

Benefit and you disagree with our

decision, you can ask us to look at it

again. Your request must be made, in

writing, within one month of us making it.

If you are still not happy with our

decision, you can take your case to an

independent appeals tribunal by writing

to tell us that this is what you want to do.

If you appeal, you must continue to pay

your Council Tax until your appeal is

decided. If your appeal succeeds, we will

give you back any Council Tax you have

overpaid.

And they

th ught

they’d never

be caught.

If you suspect someone of benefit fraud in your area, contact

your local council in confidence: 0800 0462097

Rochford

District Council

dwp.gov.uk/benefit-thieves

www.rochford.gov.uk | 7


Rochford District Council

How we work out your Council Tax

The table shows how much we plan to

spend on each of our main services.

We collect some of this money through

Council Tax, but we have two other main

sources of income – the Revenue

Support Grant and shared business rates.

8 | A guide to your Council Tax 2011/12

The Government pays us the Revenue

Support Grant out of the taxes it collects.

We collect business rates and pay them

all to the Government, which then repays

some of them to us.

Last year This year

(2010/11) (2011/12)

£ £

Central services 3,881,008 3,545,800

Cultural and related services 3,203,200 3,322,500

Planning services 2,521,400 2,091,200

Environmental services 4,354,900 3,659,200

Housing services 1,492,600 1,538,786

Highways, roads and transport services 354,100 -403,600

Net cost of services 15,807,208 13,753,886

Contributions from general fund -1,233,526 -302,962

Less capital charges -1,906,600 -2,128,500

Less efficiency savings -1,150,000 -1,106,900

Total net expenditure 11,517,082 10,215,524

Less grant from Government

and collection fund surplus -5,201,315 -3,902,290

Money we need from Council Tax 6,315,767 6,313,234


How things have changed

As well as collecting money through

Council Tax, we receive grant from the

Government. The amount of grant

allocated to Rochford makes the

authority the second-lowest funded in

Essex and the 30th lowest in England,

based on grant per person. However, for

2011/12, the Council will receive a

2010/11 2011/12 %

£ £ increase

Essex County Council 1,086.75 1,086.75 0

Rochford District Council 201.15 201.15 0

Essex Police Authority 132.12 132.12 0

Essex Fire Authority 66.42 66.42 0

Parish councils 32.19 34.67 7.7

Total 1,518.63 1,521.11

Increase to band D 31.93 2.48

Band D cost per week 29.20 29.25

Capital expenditure

Spending on major projects is called

capital expenditure and does not come

from the Council Tax. Instead we find the

money by either selling existing land or

buildings or getting grants.

This sample of items for next year’s capital

programme of investments reflects our

plans, particularly to improve cemeteries

and open spaces in the whole district.

Cemetery works £190,000

Cherry Orchard £215,000

Parks and open spaces £50,000

separate Government grant of £159,000

as we will be freezing our share of the

Council Tax. The following table shows

the amount of Council Tax charged by

the councils and organisations covering

the Rochford District. As you can see, a

freeze has been applied to all but the

parish councils.

www.rochford.gov.uk | 9


Council Tax amounts for town and parish areas

The chart below shows how much Council Tax you have to pay, including parish council spending,

depending on where you live and which valuation band your home is in. Parish and town councils

need extra money to pay for things like community centres, footpaths and extra street lighting.

Town or parish

A

£

B

£

C

£

D

£

Band

Ashingdon 1,015.38 1,184.61 1,353.84 1,523.07 1,861.53 2,199.99 2,538.45 3,046.14

Barling 1,029.03 1,200.53 1,372.04 1,543.54 1,886.55 2,229.56 2,572.57 3,087.08

Canewdon 1,027.10 1,198.28 1,369.47 1,540.65 1,883.02 2,225.38 2,567.75 3,081.30

Foulness Island 1,020.37 1,190.43 1,360.49 1,530.55 1,870.67 2,210.79 2,550.92 3,061.10

Great Wakering 1,011.72 1,180.34 1,348.96 1,517.58 1,854.82 2,192.06 2,529.30 3,035.16

Hawkwell 1,011.16 1,179.69 1,348.21 1,516.74 1,853.79 2,190.85 2,527.90 3,033.48

Hockley 1,028.68 1,200.13 1,371.57 1,543.02 1,885.91 2,228.81 2,571.70 3,086.04

Hullbridge 1,016.15 1,185.50 1,354.86 1,524.22 1,862.94 2,201.65 2,540.37 3,048.44

Paglesham 1,016.87 1,186.35 1,355.83 1,525.31 1,864.27 2,203.23 2,542.18 3,050.62

Rawreth 1,006.25 1,173.96 1,341.67 1,509.38 1,844.80 2,180.22 2,515.63 3,018.76

Rayleigh 1,008.27 1,176.32 1,344.36 1,512.41 1,848.50 2,184.59 2,520.68 3,024.82

Rochford 1,016.15 1,185.51 1,354.87 1,524.23 1,862.95 2,201.67 2,540.38 3,048.46

Stambridge 1,031.79 1,203.75 1,375.72 1,547.68 1,891.61 2,235.54 2,579.47 3,095.36

Sutton 1,067.28 1,245.16 1,423.04 1,600.92 1,956.68 2,312.44 2,668.20 3,201.84

10 | A guide to your Council Tax 2011/12

E

£

F

£

G

£

H

£


Parish and town council spending

Money each parish

needed to raise in

2010/11 (£)

Money each parish

needs to raise in

2011/12 (£)

Parish part of Council

Tax for a property in

band D (£)

Ashingdon 41,000.00 45,096.00 36.63

Barling 36,858.00 35,840.00 57.10

Canewdon 29,411.00 29,627.00 54.21

Foulness Island 2,700.00 2,700.00 44.11

Great Wakering 57,000.00 62,000.00 31.14

Hawkwell 136,494.00 138,541.00 30.30

Hockley 195,092.00 217,004.00 56.58

Hullbridge 85,772.00 90,263.00 37.78

Paglesham 4,000.00 4,000.00 38.87

Rawreth 10,000.00 10,000.00 22.94

Rayleigh 280,000.00 320,000.00 25.97

Rochford 112,207.00 112,722.00 37.79

Stambridge 13,950.00 14,300.00 61.24

Sutton 6,184.00 6,184.00 114.48

The tables below show parish and town

councils that spend more than £140,000.

2010/11 2011/12

£ thousands £ thousands

Hockley Parish

Finance and policy 123 123

Recreation 65 68

Town centre and lighting 43 42

Less contribution -36 -16

from reserves

Total 195 217

Rayleigh Town

Policy and finance 148 182

committee

Environmental 57 53

committee

King George V Playing 75 85

Fields Committee

Total 280 320

www.rochford.gov.uk | 11


Essex County Council

This has been one of the toughest

financial years for local government.

Essex County Council has worked hard

to ensure that Council Tax has remained

frozen, as we know the economic

situation is difficult for our residents.

For the last few years we have been

transforming the way we provide our

services, saving nearly half our target of

£300 million. This savings programme

has meant we have been in a good

position to meet the challenges we now

face and to continue investing as much

as we can in the services we know you

want.

12 | A guide to your Council Tax 2011/12

Over 2,000 of you responded to our

‘Changing Essex’ questionnaire in 2010

and it was clear that you were keen for us

to focus our spending on the county’s

vulnerable people, highways and

transport infrastructure, and on schools,

community safety and recycling. So this

is what we will aim to do over the next 12

months with our EssexWorks pledges.

Our pledges for 2011/12

We are entering the fourth year of our

EssexWorks programme, which has

delivered 224 school maintenance and

refurbishment projects, improved 120km

of roads and footways, increased the

recycling of household waste to over

45% and provided free telecare

equipment to 4,176 older people in their

homes, enabling them to live safely and

independently.

This year we will:

■ put our customers first by increasing

the volume and scope of customer

transactions carried out on-line by

more than 20%

■ deliver value for money by saving

£50 million from back office and

procurement processes in 2011/12

■ support vulnerable adults by

protecting the independence of

people with dementia or their carers

by increasing the uptake of personal

budgets or use of technology by a

minimum of 20%


■ support vulnerable children by

increasing the proportion of children

in care who are supported in a family

environment

■ increase educational achievement

and skills by working with and

supporting schools to help them

deliver sustainable improvements in

English and Maths at all age ranges

■ maintain and improve the transport

network by investing £4 million to fix

potholes and other damage to restore

our road network to its pre-2010/11

winter condition

The Clear English Standard does not apply to pages 12-13

■ make communities safer by enabling

them to reduce anti-social behaviour

and fear of crime through 12 local

community engagement schemes and

projects

■ promote sustainable economic

growth by investing at least £1 million

to help Essex firms create jobs and

take advantage of new market

opportunities, including supporting

250 new apprenticeships

■ enhance the environment and

reduce and recycle waste by holding

100 ‘Love where you live’ events with

local communities to create a cleaner,

greener Essex

■ promote public health and

wellbeing by providing 150 more

sport and health-related activities for

30,000 young people in both schools

and their local communities.

And throughout all of next year, we will

continue to cut red tape, while

streamlining our operation so that we

can give you better services and

continued value for money.

For more on what we have delivered

over the past year and our work in the

year ahead, go to essex.gov.uk

essex.gov.uk | 13


Council Tax

We have set Essex County Council’s

charge for a band D property at £1,086.75

for 2011/12, the same as last year.

Band £ Band £

A 724.50 E 1,328.25

B 845.25 F 1,569.75

C 966.00 G 1,811.25

D 1,086.75 H 2,173.50

The tax base (number of homes) for

Council Tax purposes has increased by

0.6% to 532,492 in 2011/12, providing

Council Tax income of £579 million.

Financial overview

We began to prepare the 2011/12 budget

in July 2010 against a forecast of tight

financial constraints. This helped us deal

with the severe cuts to our funding from

central government. We then had to make

some difficult decisions, but with support

from a one-off grant we have been able to

freeze our Council Tax charge.

This year we plan to spend £2.1 billion

on delivering services. Some of this will

be supported by grants for specific

purposes and other income including

fees and charges, leaving a net revenue

budget of £864 million:

£m £m

2010/11 2011/12

Total expenditure 1 2,180 2,126

Income and grants -1,358 -1,262

Budget 822 864

This is paid for by:

Council Tax 575 580

Formula grant 2 247 284

Budget 822 864

1 Includes payments we have to make to the Environment

Agency (£1.3 million), Lee Valley Regional Park (£1.6 million)

and Kent & Essex Inshore Fisheries & Conservation

Authority (£0.4 million).

2 This is distributed by the Government using a national formula;

there are no restrictions on what we can spend this on.

14 | A guide to your Council Tax 2011/12

This year’s budget appears to be £42 million

more than last year’s. Yet the Government’s

significant funding adjustments do not allow

a like-for-like comparison. The Government

has calculated an alternative notional

budget for 2010/11, which for Essex County

Council is £899 million. When we compare

the 2011/12 budget to this amount, the

year-on-year drop in our budget is £35

million or 3.9%. This decrease is the net

result of:

■ a rise of £109 million for new

investment, other pressures and pay

and price inflation

■ a fall of £98 million for efficiencies and

savings

■ a rise of £8 million as a contribution to

reserves

■ a fall of £54 million for reductions in

government grants.

Gross expenditure on services

£337m

£75m

£137m

£516m

£72m

£47m

£942m

Educating and supporting pupils in Essex

Caring for older people and adults

with disabilities

Looking after Essex children in care

and early years provision

Maintaining Essex roads, streetlights

and public rights of way

Protecting the Essex environment,

waste disposal and recycling

Other community services and

financing items (including depreciation

and borrowing costs)

Providing libraries, educating adult

learners and protecting our heritage


Meeting the challenge

To meet this challenging budget, it has

been more crucial than ever that we

spend taxpayers’ money efficiently.

Our Transformation Programme has

been helping us become more

streamlined and efficient. This massive

task has changed the way we think about

providing our services, challenging us

to ensure they give value for money.

The programme is forecast to achieve at

least £300 million in savings by 2012/13.

By the end of 2009/10 it had saved more

than £60 million and is on course to save

nearly £150 million by the end of 2010/11.

Capital investment

Creating new assets and improving our

existing ones is vital. However, the

funding cuts have meant we have had to

set new priorities in our capital works

programme. As a result, we have set an

overall capital programme of £221

million for 2011/12 (see chart below)

compared to £384 million for 2010/11.

£31m

£85m

£105m

Education – Improving the learning

environment

Maintaining, updating and improving

our transport network and reducing

congestion

Other major projects

We will continue to invest in education,

£106 million this year. In 2011 a new

primary school will open in Hutton and a

secondary school in Harlow. Both are

eco-friendly, energy-efficient and

sustainable buildings, providing much

better surroundings for learning.

In January 2012, Columbus School and

College, Chelmsford is also due to open,

providing a world-class learning campus

for students aged 3 to 19 with a wide

range of profound disabilities. A good

education will be a vital step towards

independent living.

In July last year, residents told us in

questionnaires, workshops and focus

groups that spending on the county’s

highways and transport network is a

priority. We will be investing £52 million

on major transport schemes to aid

economic growth and regeneration across

the county, including completion of the

A13/A130 Sadler’s Farm junction. We

also plan to spend £33 million in 2011/12

maintaining and updating our transport

network and acting to cut congestion.

essex.gov.uk | 15


Essex Police Authority

Essex Police Authority Council Tax –

details for 2011/12

Essex Police Authority is responsible for

making sure you (the people of Essex)

have an efficient and effective police

service in the areas covered by Essex

County Council and the two unitary

authorities of Southend and Thurrock.

There is a separate Council Tax charge

on all properties in this area to pay for

policing services. The following

information summarises the police

authority’s plan for policing in 2011/12

and how it will be funded.

Essex Police’s vision is to make Essex the

safest place in the country with the best

policing. We will achieve this by reducing

crime and anti-social behaviour and

reassuring the public.

16 | A guide to your Council Tax 2011/12

The coming year will be very difficult

because of budget cuts across our

services. This will mean that the force has

to reduce the number of staff and

officers that are employed. However, we

will continue to make the best use of our

resources so that we give the best

possible service to the people of Essex.

Policing Plan for 2011/12

The Policing Plan sets out the local

policing priorities for 2011/12 and shows

how we will achieve these.

Essex Police Authority and Essex Police

have identified your views and concerns.

The areas you want us to focus on are

reflected in our priorities for the coming

year. These include reducing crime,

tackling anti-social behaviour and disorder

and combating drug-related crime.

Essex Police will continue to reduce

those crimes that cause most harm to

local communities. We will also develop

our existing partnerships with other

forces and agencies, as this will

strengthen our capability to tackle the

most serious crimes and incidents.

Essex Police is committed to giving a

high standard of service that meets the

needs of the diverse communities we

serve.

We will strive to improve further the level

of satisfaction with our services through

our policing style, which is responsive,

accessible and puts the citizen first.


Summary of performance

against our 2010/11

Policing Plan priorities

All crime recorded in Essex (April to

December 2010 compared to the same

period the previous year) fell by 2.5%,

while incidents of anti-social behaviour

fell by 11% and dwelling burglary by

6.4%. At the same time we have

increased overall victim satisfaction in

our policing to 85.3%.

We have increased the number of Class

A drug offenders brought to justice by

95% against last year. Over the same

period the force has seized funds and

assets from criminals worth £3.3 million,

exceeding the target of £1.75 million.

We have continued to make the best use

of our resources and have made savings

of £11.2 million, exceeding the target of

£8.6 million.

The full Policing Plan for 2011/12, which

says more about policing priorities and

targets, will be on the Essex Police

website at www.essex.police.uk after

31 March 2011.

Funding the plan

The budget below shows how Essex

Police Authority will fund the policing

services in 2011/12. Its commitments are

shown in the Essex Policing Plan.

Budget for policing

Essex Police Authority has approved a

budget of £269 million for the force.

There will be no rise in Council Tax

this year.

Rising costs of contracts

and unavoidable cost

pressures

The 2011/12 revenue budget includes a

rise of £1.1 million in the cost of existing

contracts and new cost pressures.

Budget savings

In 2011/12, budget savings of £17 million

are needed to meet cost increases and a

reduction in a number of Government

grants. At the time of setting the budget,

savings of £12 million had been found,

leaving £5 million to be found during

the year.

www.essex.police.uk | 17


Essex Police Authority planned spending

2010/11 2011/12 Cost per head

(£ million) (£ million) of population

(in £)

Net Expenditure 275.48 284.08

Less Use of Balances -7.61 -15.13

Budget Requirement 267.87 268.95 152.87

Financed by:

Home Office Grant 111.63 117.61

Revenue Support Grant and Business Rates 71.40 65.69

Council Tax 84.80 85.32

Surplus on Collection Fund 0.04 0.33

Loans

As at 31 March 2011, Essex Police Authority will have no external debt.

Council Tax 2011/12

Band D is used as the base for calculating the tax. The equivalent number of Band D

properties in Essex is 645,771. To raise Council Tax income of £85.32 million a Council

Tax (Band D) of £132.12 is needed. The other seven bands are fixed in direct

proportion to Band D:

Band A £88.08 Band C £117.44 Band E £161.48 Band G £220.20

Band B £102.76 Band D £132.12 Band F £190.84 Band H £264.24

18 | A guide to your Council Tax 2011/12


Staff numbers (full-time equivalent)

Estimated provision in budget 2010/11 2011/12

Police Officers 3,636 3,494

Police Community Support Officers 461 436

Police Staff* 2,134 1,675

Special Constables 600 600

The staffing figures for 2011/12 reflect the estimated budget provision by 31 March 2012.

*Subject to partner agencies continuing to contribute towards jointly funded posts.

Equality scheme

Essex Police Authority and Essex Police have equality schemes that set out:

■ how we will promote equality

■ how we will work to eliminate discrimination and harassment.

For details please contact the Equality and Diversity Manager on 01245 452988.

www.essex.police.uk | 19


Essex County Fire and Rescue Service

“Local decisions may

be unpopular but we

cannot compromise

the safety of people

in the county. We

have a duty to

provide services that

in our professional

judgement enable us to keep

families throughout Essex safe,” says

Chief Fire Officer David Johnson.

Saving jobs, saving lives and

still making savings

The fire service has always had an excellent

relationship with the Essex public.

Families expect us to be there when they

need us and we always are.

But it’s not just in emergencies that we

prove our value to the community – our

protection and preventative work is

reducing the number of people who die

in fires. Working with partners, we are

also dramatically reducing the number of

people killed and seriously injured on

our roads.

It’s difficult to balance a first-class

emergency response service with

ensuring a good level of prevention and

protection. And this year it’s been more

difficult than most.

The Government’s Comprehensive

Spending Review has meant the fire

20 | A guide to your Council Tax 2011/12

service has had to take some tough

decisions to save several million pounds.

To cut some £10m from our budget over

the next two years, we inevitably have to

examine our frontline services. This is

where most of our money goes, with

firefighters’ salaries taking about three

quarters of it.

We have looked hard at how we can

meet our financial targets with minimal

impact on the Essex public. In our survey

last summer, 1,500 local people said they

would find changes to our crewing

arrangements acceptable.


But they would be unhappy if we had to

remove an appliance from their local fire

station or close it altogether.

We therefore conducted one of the most

radical reviews of fire cover in Essex.

Professional statisticians worked

alongside our senior fire officers to

thoroughly examine all aspects of our

service. Their aim was to ensure that

changes would have minimal impact on

fire appliance response times and

maintain a strong service county-wide.

In February, Essex Fire Authority

approved plans that will be implemented

over the next four years. Members

agreed to do the following:

■ No compulsory redundancies, no

forced retirements and no job losses.

■ No recruitment of wholetime

firefighters for the foreseeable future.

■ Change crewing arrangements at

Canvey Island Fire Station. There will

be two fire appliances crewed by

retained (part-time) firefighters.

Zero Council Tax increase

The cost of providing our services in

2011/12 will be £75.365 million. There

will be no Council Tax increase from

Essex Fire Authority this year.

The Government has provided a

specific grant to compensate for the

Council Tax freeze.

The Fire Authority charges a separate

amount of Council Tax for properties

covered by Essex County Council

and the two unitary authorities of

Southend and Thurrock.

To raise the money we need we will

charge a Council Tax of £66.42 for an

average band D property. This means

households will pay about £1.27 a

week in 2011/12 for fire services. We

believe this gives excellent value for

money. What do you think? Visit our

website: www.essex-fire.gov.uk and

complete our customer survey.

Band £ Band £

A 44.28 E 81.18

B 51.66 F 95.94

C 59.04 G 110.70

D 66.42 H 132.84

www.essex-fire.gov.uk | 21


■ Change arrangements at Brentwood

Fire Station from two wholetime

crewed fire appliances to one

wholetime crewed and one retained

crewed fire appliance.

■ The number of firefighters on watches

at Orsett, Clacton, Loughton and

Rayleigh Weir Fire Stations will be set

at 12 instead of 13.

■ We plan to phase out the day crewing

system at Waltham Abbey, Dovercourt,

South Woodham Ferrers and Great

Baddow Fire Stations, where crews are

on station during the day but respond

by pager at nights and weekends.

Instead, we’ll use a ‘low-level activity

and risk’ crewing system that gives a

better balance between risk and cover.

Several UK fire and rescue services

already do this. We will apply a

method that is best for the county.

22 | A guide to your Council Tax 2011/12

■ Finally, we will change the current

crewing system at Great Dunmow Fire

Station from two retained crewed

appliances to one wholetime and one

retained crewed appliance. This will

remove some retained posts but

introduce some wholetime posts.

Before recommending these changes,

we had already made £3.3m of savings

and identified a further £1.6m of savings

in our support services.

In the next two years, there will be no

compulsory redundancies, forced

retirements or station closures. Nor will

there be a reduction in frontline fire

appliances serving the county or the

number that attend emergency

incidents.

The changes will enable us to meet our

commitments to our staff and ensure we

do not reduce the level of protection we

give the public.


Help us to help you

The best way you can protect

your family is to fit a smoke

alarm.

It’s a life-saving device that gives

you valuable early warning and

enables you and your family to

flee before you are overcome by

toxic smoke.

Essex County Fire and Rescue

Service makes home fire safety

visits free of charge for

vulnerable people, such as the

elderly or families with young

children. You can recommend a

friend, neighbour or family

member for a visit and you could

be saving their life.

To see if you qualify, call

0845 601 2495.

Essex County Fire and Rescue

Service planned spending

The Essex Fire Authority has approved the

following budget.

£ thousands

2010/11 2011/12

Gross expenditure 77,299 78,066

Income -2,272 -2,701

Budget requirement 75,027 75,365

Financed by:

Revenue support grant 4,105 7,630

Business rates 28,266 24,685

Collection fund surplus 27 158

Council Tax 42,629 42,892

Total financing 75,027 75,365

Changes in the budget requirement

for 2011/12

2010/11

£ thousands

75,027

Inflation 663

Other changes -325

2011/12 budget requirement 75,365

Want to be a firefighter?

We are recruiting retained

firefighters across the county,

particularly in Canvey Island and

Brentwood, to support changes

in our crewing arrangements.

Interested? See our website for

details: essex-fire.gov.uk.

www.essex-fire.gov.uk | 23


Rochford

District Council

More information

Want to know more about our services?

Write to:

Rochford District Council

Council Offices

South Street, Rochford

Essex SS4 1BW.

Email: revenues&benefits@rochford.gov.uk

Phone: 01702 318197 or 01702 318198

Our lines are open Monday to Friday 8am-8pm

and Saturday 9am-12 noon.

Call in at the council offices in South Street. We

are open 8.30am to 5.30pm Monday to Thursday

and 8.30am to 5pm on Friday. For more

information visit our website.

www.rochford.gov.uk

For further information about

Essex Police and Essex Police

Authority please visit

www.essex.police.uk and

www.essex.police.uk/authority.

Or call the Essex Police 24-hour non-emergency

number 0300 333 4444 but always call 999 in an

emergency.

If you want to get more detailed financial

information, please contact the Financial Services

department at police headquarters:

PO Box 2

Springfield

Chelmsford

Essex

CM2 6DA.

Phone: 01245 452615

Fax: 01245 452568

Email: financehelp@essex.pnn.police.uk

www.essex.police.uk

24 | A guide to your Council Tax 2011/12

Email: counciltax@essex.gov.uk

Phone:

■ 08457 430 430, or

Write to:

Essex County Council

Freepost CL3636

Chelmsford CM1 1LX.

■ 08457 585 592 if you are hard of hearing.

Our main office is at:

County Hall

Market Road

Chelmsford CM1 1LX.

For more information about the services we

provide visit our website.

essex.gov.uk

Write to:

Essex County Fire and

Rescue Service

Kelvedon Park, Rivenhall,

Witham, Essex CM8 3HB.

Email: lisa.hart@essex-fire.gov.uk

Phone:

■ 01376 576000.

Firefighters currently visit homes for

free to give you advice about fire

safety and to fit smoke alarms. Phone

0845 601 2495 to see if you qualify or

for more safety information.

You can find out more about our services by

visiting our website.

www.essex-fire.gov.uk

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