9th February 2017
Cheshire's Police and Crime Commissioner has blamed the Government for "failing to honour its commitment" for the financial shortcomings.
60% of respondents to a consultation on the 2017/18 Policing budget in Cheshire were in favour of a 2% increase in council tax precept.
The Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane believes it’s a strong enough majority to implement the 6 pence a week hike.
It’ll help maintain the budget which allows him to avoid reducing the number of police officers on the street.
He’s described the budget as one which supports the future of policing, “The previous Chancellor’s commitment to ‘maintain overall police force budgets at current cash levels’ has been confirmed by the current Chancellor and remains dependent upon Commissioners increasing their local council tax precept by up to 2% in each year through to 2020.
“However the Government has not honoured this commitment as the Provisional Grant Settlement for Cheshire is lower than implied in 2015.”.
“I think it is important for the public to know that the 1.99% increase, which equates to 6p a week for an average Band D household, will enable an additional £1.16m to be raised to support policing in Cheshire. However, it does not cover the cost of inflation, existing commitments and priority developments. These additional costs, together with the net change in funding, will need to be met through efficiencies and savings.”
“Policing in Cheshire has made £52.4m of savings since 2010 and a further £5.4m of savings have been identified this year with the overall aim to protect local policing services. This will enable investments for the upcoming financial year to meet the priorities detailed within the Police & Crime Plan 2016-21, priorities that were developed with residents of Cheshire every step of the way.
“The investments for the forthcoming year will focus on ensuring that our police service is ready to meet current and future challenges in a robust and sustainable way. This will assist to meet the vision for Cheshire to have a police service focused on community policing, putting victims first.”
As a result, the 2017/18 Policing budget sits at £193million.