Fire and Rescue Services for the year starting on April 1 will cost £74.87, an increase by 2.99%, or £2.17, on last year.

Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Authority Chief Fire Officer Ben Ansell said: “We lobbied for the freedoms and flexibilities to increase the fire precept for Band D properties by £5, to help to ease budget pressures caused by the loss of central government grant funding, and another reduction in grant funding, receiving £467,000 or 3.2% less than 2018-19.”

It was one of the highest funding reductions for any combined fire authority in England, he claimed.

“The authority is committed to recruiting more on-call firefighters, vital to the predominantly rural service, and to maintaining commitment to prevention and protection activities. Whether working in schools,” he added.

The Authority considered the gender pay gap in Dorset & Wiltshire Fire and Rescue Service, as its operational workforce is predominantly male, with slightly more females in corporate roles.

As a result, the average gender pay gap is 10.38%, even though the same salary is paid to roles of equal value for all staff, it claimed.