Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) released their report today (Thursday, 20 June), which confirmed Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service is performing to a high standard, receiving three ‘good’ judgments across the three areas (effectiveness, efficiency and people) recently inspected.
The Inspection focused on how effectively and efficiently the Service is at keeping people safe and secure from fire and other risks, as well as how well it looks after its people.
Chairman of Royal Berkshire Fire Authority, Councillor Colin Dudley, said: “This rigorous inspection has provided us with a clear and independent view on how Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service is performing and I am delighted that the Service has received a ‘good’ rating overall. I truly believe that Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service provides a fantastic service and these judgments are a reflection of the great work, dedication and commitment of the amazing staff who serve the people of Royal Berkshire.
“We remain one of the lowest precepting Fire Authorities in the Country. The average householder in Berkshire pays just £66.28 per year for their fire and rescue, which is remarkable value for money. In comparison to the 30 other fire and rescue services inspected to date, RBFRS sit in the upper quartile for performance and lower quartile council tax, which is a remarkable combination.
“As a Fire Authority, we are determined to continue to provide a safe and efficient service, whilst balancing our budget in an increasingly volatile period for public finances. While we are very pleased with the report, we will not become complacent. We are committed to investing in and supporting the Service to continue this journey of improvement. We must continue to work with Central Government for greater flexibility to increase Council Tax when setting our budget.
“I am confident that the residents of Royal Berkshire share my belief that an increase of 42 pence per month, or £5 per year, in Council tax is a worthwhile investment to maintain the essential and lifesaving services of Royal Berkshire Fire and Rescue Service.”
RBFRS has been highlighted in the national report for a number of areas of good practice.