Tax rise agreed to protect police jobs
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.
Cheshire Police and Crime Commissioner David Keane listens to crime issues
Sarah Bailey (right) with pal Pam Dobson