The Commissioner presented his plan for 2021/22 to the panel, which is made up of councillors from across Lancashire’s local authorities, where he welcomed investment into policing through the national uplift programme but criticised the Government for again pushing the burden onto local council tax payers to ensure investments can be made.
He highlighted the Government’s announcements on police funding, and that PCCs are expected to use the maximum flexibility to raise the council tax precept equating to a £15 a year/29p a week increase for a band D property for the year.
Further outlining his proposal, the Commissioner told the panel that whilst forcing PCCs to make up gaps in funding through the precept, only some areas of the country will see greater police officer numbers than before austerity in policing began in 2010. Meanwhile, even with the proposed numbers through the Government’s uplift plan, Lancashire will still have hundreds less than just over a decade ago.
Over 4,500 people responded to his recent survey both online and over the phone, which saw 82% support his proposal for any council tax increase to go into neighbourhood policing.
Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said:
“This has been a challenging year for residents here in Lancashire and across the country. It has also reinforced the importance for properly funded policing, which is fair and reflects the needs of each force and area.
“The Government has left Police and Crime Commissioners no choice but to increase the council tax precept to make the investments necessary to ensure we deliver the highest quality policing service possible and deliver on our duty to protect the public.
“With Lancashire Constabulary having been rated as outstanding for efficiency in the use of their resources by HMICFRS, residents be assured that any investment made will be maximised to achieve the best possible outcome for Lancashire.
“My commitment is to ensure that tax payers will see genuine improvements to local policing and increased officer numbers as a result of this investment which time and again, the public tell me they want to see. I will continue to lobby the government to provide fair funding for Lancashire without asking local council tax payers to foot the bill.”