Royal Berkshire Fire Authority (RBFA) wants to raise its portion of council tax to an average of £1.32 over the next financial year.

The service is holding a consultation for residents to have their say on the proposed changes across the region.

In a letter sent to locals, Councillor Colin Dudley, the chairman for RBFA, claimed the rise was necessary due to a fall of over 24 per cent of central government funding and additional cost pressures.

He added that the Grenfell tragedy in 2017 also put pressures on the service because of its protection policy.

The authority could raise their portion of the council tax by 1.99 per cent without holding a referendum due to the current government’s proposal of setting a threshold of three per cent.

In addition, Councillor Dudley and other chairs of fire authorities have been lobbying government to allow an increase of council tax by £5 in 2020/21.

Councillor Dudley said: “Given the current the economic climate, the fire authority gave me a mandate to speak to Berkshire MPs to make them aware of the issues faced and ask for greater flexibility to increase council tax when setting the budget.

“Berkshire MPs have been lobbying government on our behalf to give the authority the flexibility to increase council tax."

The average band D property pays £66 of its overall council tax bill per year to the RBFA believing a small increase will remain 'excellent' value for money.

The fire services budget for last year was £34.1 million with a further £2 million of savings to be delivered this March.

The consultation closes on February 3 at 5pm and residents can have their say on the RBFA website.

Alternatively, you can email or phone 0118 945 2888.