Your Council Tax – what’s in it for you?
What is Council Tax? 3
Who has to pay Council Tax? 4
Exempt properties 5
People with disabilities 6
How do I appeal? 7
Rochford District Council –
How we work out your Council Tax
Council Tax amounts for town
and parish areas
About Essex County Council 12
About Essex Police Authority 16
About Essex Fire Authority 20
How to contact us 24
If you would like this information
in large print, Braille or another
language, please phone us on
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.
■ 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
(see note below)
Essex Fire Authority
receive 2p (see
■ 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
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:
■ 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
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
■ people who are severely mentally
■ 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
■ members of visiting forces and
■ 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).
You don’t have to pay Council Tax for
some properties. These are known as
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
■ is owned by a charity (exempt for up
to six months)
■ is unfurnished (exempt for up to six
■ 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
■ is empty because it is against the law
for anyone to live in it
■ is waiting to be lived in by a minister
■ 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
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
■ An elderly or disabled person living
in part of a home (an annexe) and
their relative lives in the other part of
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.
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
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.
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
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
This means that people with
disabilities don’t have to pay
more Council Tax for the extra
space they need.
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?
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
They will tell you your rights and how to
appeal, if you are entitled to do so.
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
If you disagree with our decision, you
have two months to appeal to a
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
If you suspect someone of benefit fraud in your area, contact
your local council in confidence: 0800 0462097
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
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
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
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
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
Parish and town council spending
Money each parish
needed to raise in
Money each parish
needs to raise in
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.
£ thousands £ thousands
Finance and policy 123 123
Recreation 65 68
Town centre and lighting 43 42
Less contribution -36 -16
Total 195 217
Policy and finance 148 182
Environmental 57 53
King George V Playing 75 85
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
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
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
■ 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
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
■ 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,
■ 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
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.
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:
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
■ a rise of £109 million for new
investment, other pressures and pay
and price inflation
■ a fall of £98 million for efficiencies and
■ a rise of £8 million as a contribution to
■ a fall of £54 million for reductions in
Gross expenditure on services
Educating and supporting pupils in Essex
Caring for older people and adults
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.
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.
Education – Improving the learning
Maintaining, updating and improving
our transport network and reducing
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
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
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
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
Rising costs of contracts
and unavoidable cost
The 2011/12 revenue budget includes a
rise of £1.1 million in the cost of existing
contracts and new cost pressures.
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
www.essex.police.uk | 17
Essex Police Authority planned spending
2010/11 2011/12 Cost per head
(£ million) (£ million) of population
Net Expenditure 275.48 284.08
Less Use of Balances -7.61 -15.13
Budget Requirement 267.87 268.95 152.87
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Gross expenditure 77,299 78,066
Income -2,272 -2,701
Budget requirement 75,027 75,365
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
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
www.essex-fire.gov.uk | 23
Want to know more about our services?
Rochford District Council
South Street, Rochford
Essex SS4 1BW.
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.
For further information about
Essex Police and Essex Police
Authority please visit
Or call the Essex Police 24-hour non-emergency
number 0300 333 4444 but always call 999 in an
If you want to get more detailed financial
information, please contact the Financial Services
department at police headquarters:
PO Box 2
Phone: 01245 452615
Fax: 01245 452568
24 | A guide to your Council Tax 2011/12
■ 08457 430 430, or
Essex County Council
Chelmsford CM1 1LX.
■ 08457 585 592 if you are hard of hearing.
Our main office is at:
Chelmsford CM1 1LX.
For more information about the services we
provide visit our website.
Essex County Fire and
Kelvedon Park, Rivenhall,
Witham, Essex CM8 3HB.
■ 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.
For every tree used to make our paper, another is planted.