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Wednesday 20 December 2017, 11:52 AM
  • Gloucestershire Constabulary could get around an extra £3.3 million if council tax goes up by 5.6% according to the Home Office.
  • A rise of 5.6% in council tax in Gloucestershire – the figure proposed by the Home Office - would mean the Constabulary’s budget rising to around £109.8m for 2018/19 and a band D householder paying an extra £12 per year.
  • Gloucestershire has one of the lowest funded forces in the country
  • With no increase in council tax and police forces throughout the country already committed to a 2% pay rise, together with the rising inflation, a frozen grant settlement would mean a further real terms cut of around £2m.

    Gloucestershire Constabulary could get around an extra £3.3 million - but only if council tax goes up by 5.6% according to the Home Office.

    The Government announced there would be no increase in national funding but instead gave Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) permission to increase the portion of local taxation that pays for policing.

     A rise of 5.6% in council tax in Gloucestershire – the figure proposed by the Home Office - would mean the Constabulary’s budget rising to around £109.8m for 2018/19.  

     It would also mean a band D householder paying an extra £12 per year.

    The Constabulary’s budget has been cut by around £32m in the last seven years. Gloucestershire also has one of the lowest funded forces in the country receiving a grant from the Government of £95.10 per head of population compared to the national average of £111.10. This also compares to £217.70 per head of population in London and £154.10 in Northumbria.

    With no increase in council tax and police forces throughout the country already committed to a 2% pay rise, together with the rising inflation, a frozen grant settlement would mean a further real terms cut of around £2m.  

    Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl said, “I’m pleased, up to a point, that the grant has been frozen and not reduced.

    “It means the Government has recognised there is a problem with police funding even though they see the answer is in local not national taxation. In doing so, they have passed the baton to me.

     “It gives me the option to raise council tax above the current limit of 2 % and over the next month or so I will take soundings to see whether or not I should increase the amount local people contribute. It is a decision I won’t take lightly as I know many households are still facing tough times and to burden them with increases in taxation is something I am loathe to do.  

     “Gloucestershire Police and my office have been consistently praised by Her Majesty’s Inspector of Constabulary (HMIC) for the careful management of our finances, which means we have options. 

    “Increasing the precept by £1 a month, as the Government proposes, will help make balancing the books easier, but it won’t mean we have lots of spare cash available for investment”.  

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