• 2% increase in the Police precept will raise an extra £900,000
  • Band D householders will pay an extra 8p per week for policing services 
  • ‘Modest’ increase will help maintain Police and PCSO numbers and go towards ‘significant’ increase in the Special Constabulary, says PCC
  • Police and Crime Panel vote unanimously to support the budget

Gloucestershire County Council’s Police and Crime Panel today  approved Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl’s proposal for a 1.99% increase in what local taxpayers pay for the police.

The rise in the police precept will raise around £900,000 and help to maintain Police and PCSO numbers and significantly increase the number of Special Constables.

The proposals also include provision for 1% of the policing budget to be made available to continue to support community projects and programmes managed through the Commissioner’s Fund. It is an approach to crime reduction – the concept and scale of which is unique to Gloucestershire – that already funds 272local initiatives countywide.

The new precept works out at an extra 8 pence per week or an additional £4.18 on the annual bill for a band D householder. The total police budget is £107,227,954

Mr. Surl said, “I have been given no choice but to increase the council tax by 1.99% for 2017/18 and I am grateful for the panel’s support.

“The grant received from the Home Office has been set on the basis that PCCs will increase the precept to offset the reduction in grant. Even with the increased precept, significant savings have again had to be found to balance the budget”.

Policing in Gloucestershire is funded in two ways, through a grant from the Government and from local council taxes.  The grant received from the Home Office for the year to 31st March 2018 is £750,000 less than the grant received in the previous year.

The Home Office has stated that although the grant has reduced, Police and Crime Commissioners can maintain total funding at a “flat cash level” if the precept is increased to the maximum amount (2%).

Mr. Surl told the Police and Crime Panel, “Unfortunately maintaining funding at a flat cash level does not take account of pay increases, price inflation, and additional costs imposed by the Government. Although savings of £1.4m have been identified I will still need to increase the precept to balance the budget.

“A 1.99% increase in the precept will raise an extra £900,000 and works out at an extra £4.18 on the annual bill for a band D householder

“I believe this is a modest increase in council tax, which for 2017/18 will mean that the Constabulary can maintain the number of Police Officers and Police Community Support Officers to police Gloucestershire and will provide the resources to significantly increase the number of Special Constables”.

“The precept is set on an annual basis. However, for future planning purposes, if the government grant continues to be reduced, I will have to increase the precept each year. Even if the precept is increased by 1.99% – the maximum permitted without the need for a local referendum – each year to 2020/21, the organisation will still have to find £6m savings to balance the budget over that period”.