Views sought over rise in coun­cil tax

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

RES­I­DENTS are be­ing asked how much they’d be will­ing to pay for polic­ing – propos­ing a rise in coun­cil tax

You are be­ing asked your views on three po­ten­tial op­tions for Cheshire Po­lice and Crime Com­mis­sioner John Dwyer. They in­clude:

• No in­crease in coun­cil tax – cut­ting po­lice bud­gets and lead­ing to a re­duc­tion in the num­ber of front­line po­lice of­fi­cers.

• A 6p per week (two per cent) in­crease in coun­cil tax for a Band D property, main­tain­ing cur­rent spend­ing on po­lice ser­vices and pro­tect­ing our cur­rent num­ber of po­lice of­fi­cers.

•A 10p per week in­crease in coun­cil tax for a Band D property (3.2 per cent), an in­crease of £1.8m to the po­lice bud­get, all of which will be spent on ex­tra po­lice of­fi­cers.

Mr Dwyer said: “We were all de­lighted when the Gov­ern­ment an­nounced re­cently that it would al­low Po­lice and Crime Com­mis­sion­ers to pro­tect po­lice bud­gets. How­ever, we now know that the Gov­ern­ment’s com­mit­ment de­pends upon com­mis­sion­ers, in­clud­ing my­self, in­creas­ing our share of the coun­cil tax by two per cent from April 2016.

“In Cheshire’s case, a two per cent in­crease would equate to a 6p per week in­crease in coun­cil tax for a Band D property in or­der to en­able ex­ist­ing polic­ing ser­vices to be main­tained. Oth­er­wise, we will have to make cuts in po­lice bud­gets for next year.

“For those com­mis­sion­ers who have his­tor­i­cally kept coun­cil tax low, as I have in Cheshire, the Chan­cel­lor is al­low­ing us to in­crease the po­lice pre­cept up to £5 a year.

“If this ad­di­tional flex­i­bil­ity were ap­plied in Cheshire, it would re­sult in a 3.2 per cent in­crease in coun­cil tax, which equates to 10p per week for a Band D property.

“This ad­di­tional 4p per week in­vest­ment would en­able me to in­crease spend­ing on front­line po­lice ser­vices in the next fi­nan­cial year.

“I have com­mit­ted to us­ing any in­crease in fund­ing to in­crease the num­bers of po­lice of­fi­cers on our streets and to en­hance the con­stab­u­lary’s abil­ity to pro­tect neigh­bour­hoods from harm.”

An on­line sur­vey will run un­til Jan­uary 14 at Home.aspx and via the com­mis­sioner’s so­cial me­dia ac­counts.

You can also write to: Po­lice and Crime Com­mis­sioner for Cheshire, Cle­monds Hey, Oak­mere Road, Winsford, Cheshire, CW7 2UA.

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