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Home Kent News Article
Council taxpayers face paying more for Kent's fire and rescue services for the first time in four years.
The Kent and Medway Fire and Rescue Authority (KMFRA) is to increase household bills by just under 2% in line with increases being set by most councils.
It means average bills will rise by £1.35 for homes in Band D, the equivalent of 2p week.
The news comes as figures show nuisance call-outs made up more than 40% of the work of firefighters in Kent last year - at an estimated cost to the taxpayer of more than £11.5million.
The authority says it needs to increase the tax to cover the costs of emergency services, including an improvement in the availability of on-call engines and improved fire cover in the evenings and weekends by day-crewed firefighters.
Cllr Nick Chard (Con) the chairman of the fire authority, said: "We have seen a huge reduction in fires and other incidents but we recognise that there are still challenges to meet.
"Continued advancements in the technology and modernised ways of working means we can work smarter and deliver a first class service as effectively as possible."
Ann Millington, chief executive of KFRS, said: "We have made major changes over the past few years, ensuring that we have stations in the right location for modern day needs.
"But the county continues to change so we are also working differently in ways that will maintain emergency cover."
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