Since 2010 austerity measures have seen millions wiped off local authority budgets and these measures mean further cuts will be required up to 2018/19.
Local government has suffered a faster rate of cuts than most other areas of government spending. Deep cuts have already been implemented, leading to a 27% reduction in the spending power of the sector in England between 2010/11 and 2014/15.
Authorities with greater concentrations of disadvantaged population groups have suffered faster or deeper cuts, particularly those in urban areas.
So far, local government has coped with budget contraction, demonstrating resilience and a capacity to adjust to a new funding landscape. At the time of writing, all councils have managed to set balanced, legal budgets by delivering the required savings each year. While there have been some high-profile protests about some of the measures, there has not been a national outcry from the public about reductions and withdrawals of council services.
One reason for this may be that local authorities have attempted to shelter front-line services by loading savings onto ‘back-office’ functions or making other kinds of efficiency saving. Many have also tried to protect those services on which poorer groups and areas are most reliant, such as social work and social care. This has meant that services such as planning or those associated with environmental maintenance have had to absorb higher levels of savings.
Irrespective of the economic climate, Fire Safety in County Councils is paramount and at Fire Safety Services we have developed a good working relationship with many local authorities to ensure the continuance of high quality service and fire safety.
Some organisations tender their fire safety contracts and are will simply award the business to the lowest bidding fire protection provider. There is often little understanding of the repercussions this can have in the event of a fire. Some fire protection providers will cut corners to enable them to make money from a very low priced tender. We have seen fire systems maintained so badly there is a chance it will not operate in the event of a fire.
Fire extinguishers are very important in the initial stages of a fire incident; they can mean the difference between extinguishing a small smouldering bin fire and that same small smouldering bin fire becoming a major catastrophe.
Fire Safety Services will not price any contract to a point where it is not viable as a commercial operation, instead they will work closely with local authorities to identify strategies, products and services, which ensure full compliance with fire safety legislation combined with efficiencies to suit both parties.
If you would like to discuss fire safety in your County Council, please call one of our expert team on 08000 234114.
David has worked in the fire protection industry for over 30 years. He formed Fire Safety Services in 1999, initially working from home as a sole trader, and is proud to have grown a national company providing quality and ethical fire safety. Today, the business turns over £7 million plus and has nearly 100 employees.