Wired-GOV Newswire (news from other organisations)
LGA - Fire service funding needs to address increased 'elderly risk' factor
Funding for fire and rescue services needs to address greater risks posed by the rising ageing population, with a 22 per cent increase in the last two years in the number of fire-related deaths involving those aged over 65, the LGA urged.
Generally, the risk of fire-related fatality increases with age, with those aged 80 and over at greatest risk of dying in a fire. An increase in the number of people living in rented accommodation is also linked to an increase in the number of residential fires.
With the over-85 population set to more than double by 2039 and the number of people renting privately forecast to rise, the LGA, which represents more than 370 councils and fire authorities in England and Wales, says socio-demographic risk factors linked to fires should be considered in government’s funding of fire services.
The LGA is also highlighting latest fire statistics which show that although the overall number of fires has fallen steadily, the rate of decline has slowed and certain types of fire have increased. This includes deliberate primary fires – those that involve casualties or rescues – which have risen by 14 per cent to 22,032 in 2016/17 (up from 19,369 in 2015/16).
Government figures show that funding for fire services, within revenue support grant, has fallen by 38.5 per cent, from £524 million to £322 million, between 2015/16 and 2019/20.
In its Autumn Budget submission, the LGA is urging government not to make any further reductions to fire service funding and to ensure funding levels reflect that fire services are driven by risk, not demand, and need the capability to respond to major incidents.
With increases in the ageing population and rented accommodation linked to greater residential fire risk, the LGA is calling for the funding of fire services to take account of these risk factors and related fire prevention work.
Cllr Ian Stephens, Chair of the LGA’s Fire Services Management Committee, said:
“The fact that people are living longer is to be celebrated but this presents a clear and additional risk to fire and rescue services which have had their funding cut by around 40 per cent over a four-year period.
“Projected rises in both the elderly population, including those living alone, and the number of people living in privately rented homes will only increase the risk of more fires putting people’s lives in danger.
“Despite an overall fall in fires following successful fire prevention work, certain types of fire, such as deliberate primary fires, are on the rise, which is concerning.
“These trends present a growing risk factor and cannot be ignored. We are urging the Chancellor not to make any further reductions to fire service funding in the Autumn Budget to ensure resources and capability are not jeopardised.
“The fire service needs to be funded to risk, not demand, to ensure it can respond to unanticipated local and national events, such as the Grenfell Tower disaster.
“After cutting the number of fires by half in the last decade, fire services are saving lives and delivering better services for local people, through cost-effective initiatives such as pioneering prevention work, targeted safe and well visits, and collaboration with other blue light services and partners, to help communities, including the most vulnerable. Reduced funding could undermine these achievements and put lives at risk.
“Firefighters are well-placed to understand the needs and risks in their communities. Funding which accounts for specific socio-demographic fire risk factors, such as the rising ageing population and increase in private renters, would enable fire and rescue services to continue to target their community fire safety work more effectively, and therefore reduce fire casualties.”
- Latest government figures show that the number of people aged 65 and over killed in a fire has risen by 22 per cent between 2014/15 and 2016/17 (from 101 to 123). Find Home Office statistics on fire-related fatalities and non-fatal casualties by age (table 05053a).
- Office for National Statistics predicts that the over-85s will increase from 1.7 million in 2019 to 3.6 million in 2039 (table 4)
- Government analysis of fire and rescue service performance and outcomes with reference to population socio-demographics (see B.4.2 and B.4.3).
- In 2016/17 firefighters attended 22,032 deliberate primary fires – an increase of 14 per cent on the 19,369 in 2015/16.
- Government figures show that fire and rescue service funding within revenue support grant will have fallen from £524 million to £322 million from 2015/16 to 2019/20, equating to 38.5 per cent in cash terms (43.25 per cent in real terms). Download the figures here (.xlsx file)
- Estate agents Knight Frank predicts a steep rise in the number of private renters – which has doubled in the past 10 years - with nearly one in four households living in privately rented homes by the end of 2021.
- The English Housing Survey 2015/16 (page 2) says that between 2005/06 and 2015/16, the proportion of households in the private rented sector with children increased from 30 per cent to 36 per cent – equating to about 945,000 more households in the private rented sector with children.
Latest News from
Wired-GOV Newswire (news from other organisations)
NHS Confederation - CQC survey shows people’s experience of vital mental health services poorest for years06/12/2021 10:20:00
Sean Duggan, Chief Executive of the NHS Confederation's Mental Health Network, responds to a new report by the CQC which revealed that people's experiences of vital mental health services are the poorest for years:
CIPD - The Flexible Working Taskforce launches new employer guidance on hybrid working to promote best practice06/12/2021 09:20:00
Guidance focuses on people management, recruitment and induction, inclusion and fairness, and health, safety and wellbeing
The world’s nearly 240 million children living with disabilities are being denied basic rights – UNICEF03/12/2021 16:25:00
All around the world, the nearly 240 million children living with disabilities — 1 in 10 children worldwide — are being denied basic rights, UNICEF said ahead of International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
NHS Confederation - Funding will help secure care this winter03/12/2021 15:25:00
Matthew Taylor responds to the announcement of £700 million to support the NHS this winter.
CBI responds to Climate Change Committee report on COP2603/12/2021 11:05:00
CBI yesterday responded to Climate Change Committee report on COP26.
Job opportunity with the Bevan Foundation02/12/2021 16:05:00
The Bevan Foundation are looking for a skilled and talented policy & research officer to lead their activity on work and the economy.
Majority of employers agree flexible working requests should be a day-one right, CIPD research finds02/12/2021 12:40:00
Over two fifths of employers say they will be more likely to grant requests for flexible working after end of pandemic restrictions, than they were before COVID-19
Strong growth in private sector activity continues into three months to November02/12/2021 12:15:00
Private sector activity grew at a similarly strong pace in the quarter to November as the previous month (balance of +32% from +29%).
LGA responds to adult social care reform white paper02/12/2021 11:40:00
Cllr David Fothergill, Chairman of the Local Government Association’s Community Wellbeing Board, responded to the publication of the Government’s white paper on adult social care reform