Tax rise agreed to pro­tect po­lice jobs

Macclesfield Express - - FRONT PAGE - STU­ART GREER

PO­LICE chiefs have agreed a coun­cil tax in­crease to pro­tect front­line jobs.

Cheshire Po­lice’s pre­cept, which forms part of the an­nual coun­cil tax bill, will in­crease by 1.99 per cent – which is the equiv­a­lent to 6p per week for those living in a Band D home.

It gives the force an an­nual bud­get of £193 mil­lion.

The new bill adds to pro­pos­als by Cheshire Fire and Res­cue Ser­vice for a pre­cept rise of 1.99pc, £1.40 a year for Band D prop­erty, and a 4.99pc hike by Cheshire East Coun­cil, which will see coun­cil tax bills bump up by £60 per year.

David Keane, Po­lice and Crime Com­mis­sioner for Cheshire, said the rise will al­low him to avoid cut­ting any po­lice of­fi­cer roles and push for­ward with in­vest­ment in­clud­ing:

Speed aware­ness ed­u­ca­tion, safety cam­era staff, in­creased mo­tor­cy­cle pa­trols and drug wipes

Cy­ber-crime – in­clud­ing data in­ves­ti­ga­tion and train­ing both within the force, via the web­site and in the com­mu­nity

Man­age­ment of sex­ual and vi­o­lent of­fend­ers in­clud­ing Sex Of­fender Li­ai­son Of­fi­cers

Fund­ing for the NonRe­cent Sex­ual Abuse Team (NSAT) to sup­port vic­tims of such abuse.

Mr Keane said: “This is a bud­get that will en­able the Chief Con­sta­ble to pro­tect the pub­lic of Cheshire and achieve the pri­or­i­ties of the Po­lice and Crime Plan.

““I think it is im­por­tant for the pub­lic to know that the 1.99 per cent 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.

“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 part of the pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion on the bud­get Mr Keane warned that not in­creas­ing the bud­get would re­sult in him hav­ing to find £1.2m in new sav­ings, the equiv­a­lent to 26 po­lice of­fi­cers.

Kevin Os­borne

Cheshire Po­lice and Crime Com­mis­sioner David Keane lis­tens to crime is­sues

Sarah Bai­ley (right) with pal Pam Dob­son

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