Give your views on police tax
HALTON residents’ views are being sought on potential increases to the policing precept of council tax bills.
Cheshire Police And Crime Commissioner David Keane is asking Halton residents for their thoughts on funding for the police service.
Three funding options are available for the following year and residents are being asked if they would support an increase of either 1% or 2% to the policing element of council tax.
The third option available is no rise to the precept.
A spokeswoman for Mr Keane said that freezing at current levels would require reductions in policing services through a £1.2m cut, which is equivalent to 26 fewer police officers.
A 1% rise would still result in a cut of £600,000 and is equivalent to 13 fewer police officers.
Mr Keane said: “Recent years have seen severe cuts to public services from successive Governments.
“The result locally has been that we have had to find £52.4 million of savings over the past seven years.
“The Government has said that police budgets will be protected at current levels.
“However it isn’t quite that simple, as the Government commitment does not take into account inflation and is based on local Police And Crime Commissioners increasing the police share of council tax, known as the policing precept, by 2%.
“I committed to speaking to the public about police funding prior to making any decision and I am keeping my promise.
“I know this is a tough decision, particularly as many people are continuing to feel that they have less money in their pocket after the bills have gone out, but I believe that a 2% increase, just 6p a week ● for a Band D average household, to maintain funding would provide strong support for local policing.”
Residents will be able to offer their views online until Tuesday, January 24, on whether funding for the police service should be maintained and the outcome will influence the decision Mr Keane makes about the policing precept.
Mr Keane added: “I’m clear that maintaining current funding levels through a 2% increase in the precept would not mean local policing stands still.
“Through careful re-prioritisation and increased efficiency, the people of Cheshire will see investments in areas of policing you told me were important as I developed the Police And Crime Plan.
“Amongst other things, investment will be made in supporting victims of sexual abuse, local policing, investment in cutting edge technology to support public contact and road safety, and the provision of a modern fit for purpose estate all ensuring policing in Cheshire is connected with our communities.
“I have been working with Simon Byrne, the chief constable, to study the existing budget and will be making a number of efficiency savings. What I now need is your view on the police precept.”
For more information cheshire-pcc.gov.uk visit www.