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21.—(1) Each constituent authority shall, in respect of each financial year, pay into the combined fire service fund, in accordance with the provisions of this paragraph, a contribution equal to its appropriate proportion of the net expenses of the Authority in respect of that year.
(2) The Authority shall, before 31st December in any year, submit to each constituent authority an estimate of its net expenses for the next financial year, and shall subsequently, before 15th February, give notice to each constituent authority of the amount of the contribution to be paid by that authority under this paragraph in the next financial year.
(3) Subject to sub-paragraphs (4) and (5), each constituent authority shall, at such intervals as are agreed between it and the Authority, make an interim payment into the combined fire service fund of such an amount as is so agreed on account of the said contribution.
(4) Subject to sub-paragraph (5), if a constituent authority and the Authority fail to agree, or subsequently disagree, as to the intervals at which payments should be made under sub-paragraph (3) or as to the amounts of such payments, each payment shall, until the end of the financial year or subsequent agreement between the two authorities, whichever is sooner—
(a)be made on the first working day of each month, and
(b)be of such an amount as would, if added to payments of an equal amount made on the first working day of each remaining month of the financial year, equal the outstanding balance of the contribution to be paid by the constituent authority under this paragraph.
(5) Notwithstanding the provisions of sub-paragraphs (3) and (4) any payments made under those sub-paragraphs shall be made at such times, and shall be of such amounts, as are at all times sufficient to enable the financial obligations of the Authority to be met.
(6) The Authority may, after consultation with each constituent authority, revise the estimate referred to in sub-paragraph (2) at any time before the end of the financial year to which that estimate relates and shall, as soon as is practicable, give notice in writing to each constituent authority of the revised amount of the contribution to be paid by that authority under this paragraph.
(7) Where a constituent authority receives notice under sub-paragraph (6) the interim payments payable thereafter under sub-paragraphs (3) or (4) shall, subject to sub-paragraph (5), be so increased or reduced as to adjust to the difference.
(8) If the Authority makes arrangements with any constituent authority under paragraph 10 for the making of payments on behalf of the Authority by that constituent authority, the interim payments to be made by that constituent authority under this paragraph shall, subject to sub-paragraph (5), take into account payments made by that constituent authority on behalf of the Authority.
(9) For the purposes of this paragraph the net expenses of the Authority, in respect of any financial year, shall be the amount of its expenditure in respect of that year less all income which is credited to the combined fire service fund in respect of that year, other than contributions paid or payable under sub-paragraph (1), but may, for the purposes of preparing the estimate referred to in sub-paragraph (2) and if the Authority so resolve, include such amount or amounts as the Authority consider appropriate with a view to minimising any upward revision of an estimate under sub-paragraph (6).
(10) In this paragraph—
“appropriate proportion” means the proportion of the total amount of the constituent authorities' council tax base which is represented by the council tax base of the constituent authority in question;
“council tax base” means the council tax base for the year calculated by the Secretary of State for the Environment for Revenue Support Grant purposes in accordance with the local government finance report for that year made under section 78A of the Local Government Finance Act 1988(1);
“financial year” means the period of twelve months beginning on 1st April; and
“working day” means a day other than a Saturday or a Sunday, Good Friday, Christmas Day or a day which is, or is to be observed as, a bank holiday, or a holiday under the Banking and Financial Dealings Act 1971(1) in England and Wales.
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