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Monday 08 January 2018, 11:03 AM
  • Council tax payers are being asked to pay more for policing
  • Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl is consulting on the Government’s proposal that council tax in Gloucestershire could go up by 5.6%
  • A net increase in the police budget of around £1.7m would lead to the recruitment of an extra 16 new posts that would go towards improving neighbourhood policing as well as investing in other key areas of police work
  • If approved, an increase in the precept of 5.6% would add £12 to a band D householder’s annual bill
  • You have until 31 January to let us give us your view

Local council tax payers are being asked to pay more for their police and help restore neighbourhood policing.

 

The Government announced before Christmas 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. The figure proposed by the Home Office was 5.6%.

Taking into account the pay increase already agreed by the Government and rising inflation, a 5.6% council tax hike would give the Constabulary an extra £1.7m to invest. It would take the Police budget to around £109m for 2018/19 and add £12 to a band D householder’s annual bill.

Why is the PCC considering increasing the council tax precept? 

In meetings with the Home Secretary (left) and other Government representatives, PCC Martin Surl has consistently made the case that central government cuts of around £30m since 2010  have been to the detriment of neighbourhood policing - and that any new money should be invested in that area as it is an issue people complain about most.

If agreed, £1.7m would go towards recruiting 16 officers to work more closely in urban and rural communities and in schools. It would also help tackle the expanding workload in child protection and child sexual exploitation, provide officers with body worn videos and make improvements to the role played by police in the criminal justice system.

 If agreed, where will the extra money go?

Mr. Surl said, “Clearly, the Government sees the solution to the problem with police funding in local not national taxation and in doing so, has passed the baton to me. It hasn’t left much time for consultation but whilst I am reluctant to increase the amount local people contribute, investment is needed if the police are to remain fully viable and fulfil their first obligation to protect the public.

“I have felt for some time that neighbourhood policing has been allowed to slide down the list of police priorities. And whilst there may be perfectly understandable reasons for that, in holding the Constabulary to account, I have always stressed the need for strong links with our communities.

“Seven years of austerity has compounded the problem but developing a plan to improve neighbourhood policing was uppermost in my campaign for re-election and is fundamental to my police and crime plan".

What happens now?

 

To have your say, go to https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/JRK7NRB

We're really keen to hear your views, please let us know by 31 January 2018

Background:

  • Gloucestershire Constabulary would 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.
  • The cash increase comes from two sources:
    • An increase in the tax base (£0.7m)
    • An increase of 5.6% to the precept, equating to £12 increase on band D (£2.6m)    

 

  • 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.  

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