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Commissioner reveals precept increase plans

26 January, 2015

Clive Grunshaw, the Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner is to propose a 1.99% increase to the police precept to members of the Police and Crime Panel tonight (Monday, 26 January) after overwhelming support for the rise during an extensive consultation.

The proposal comes on the back of a six week long exercise which gathered comments from more than 2,400 people from all parts of the county.

The Commissioner said: “Lancashire residents have told me by three to one that they support an increase in the council tax precept to help fund police. More than 2,400 people had their say as part of the extensive consultation which is up 600 responses on previous years which just goes to show how strongly people feel about their police.

“In all 75% of the respondents said they would like to see an increase of more than 2% with 52% prepared to pay up to an extra 5% in order to help reduce the cuts facing the police budget this year. The remaining 25% said they wanted to freeze the charge.”

Mr Grunshaw added: “When I took up office I made a pledge “to be the voice of local people when it comes to policing” and the consultation has helped me understand what our residents’ want. I surveyed people living across all of our districts and asked if they wanted to:

  • Freeze the precept at the current £156 a year average band D bill amount
  • Increase it by 2% or 6p per week to around £159 a year
  • Or increase it by 5% or 15p a week to around £163 a year.

“I explained that raising the precept is one way we can help mitigate some – but not all – of the cuts we face. An increase of 2% is worth £1.2m to the police budget each year and while a 5% increase would be worth £3.1m, however I have decided against raising the charge by this amount.

“This is because if I want to raise the charge by more than 2%, I would need to conduct a referendum across Lancashire. The cost of the referendum is estimated to be £1.5m which would have to come out of any additional money raised.”

The consultation responses are made up of an average of the following responses

  • A telephone poll of 1,407 residents – 100 in each of the 14 districts – conducted to market research standards
  • An online survey – promoted on Facebook and Twitter which received more than 900 responses
  • A questionnaire issued to members of the public via police enquiry desks and through a number of libraries throughout the county and roadshows in four town and city centres generated more than 100 responses.

The role of the Lancashire Police and Crime Panel is to scrutinise the decisions the Commissioner makes and they will consider his proposals at the meeting on Monday, 26 January at County Hall, Preston.

The Panel will then have until 8 February to decide if they are going to accept his proposals.

For more information see the meeting agenda here: Lancashire Police and Crime Panel Agenda

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