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Have your say on local police funding

 

As Police and Crime Commissioner, it is my job to set the budget for Lancashire Police for the next financial year and, with it, the amount you contribute through your council tax for policing services in the county.

Funding for police forces is made up of grants from central government and an amount raised locally from the council tax, known as the police precept. In Lancashire, around 72% of the police budget is funded by central government, with your council tax making up the rest.

Central government budget cuts continue to hit Lancashire Police hard, with the force one of the worst affected. Since 2010, Lancashire Constabulary has had to make savings of over £84 million, with a further estimated £18m still to find by 2022. Combined with rising demands on the service, increasing costs through inflation, and growing online threats, we have to ensure the police has sufficient resources to keep our county safe.

Under the latest funding settlement announced by Policing Minister Nick Hurd MP, next year’s central grant funding for Lancashire will increase by £6.8m, however, whilst the Commissioner welcomes any additional grant, it does not even cover the increase to employer pension contributions for policing, announced in September.

The government announced greater flexibility for increasing the council tax precept, with Police and Crime Commissioners given the ability to raise the precept by 48p per week for a Band D property – although three quarters of Lancashire residents are in lower bands and so would pay less, and this would raise over £10m for policing in Lancashire

It is not fair for the government to keep asking the tax payers of Lancashire to pay more for policing every year, however it’s the only option I have and if I do not consider this, it would mean a cut to our budget and Lancashire Police would struggle to keep up with demand and deliver the service the public expect.

Additional money raised through council tax would mean 80 additional police officers and the opportunity to invest in proactive policing across the county, specifically neighbourhood policing and targeted crime teams to address local issues that matter to people.

Across the county, residents tell me how they want to see better investment in policing. Before I can set the precept, it’s important that I understand what you think, so please complete my survey and tell me your views. The survey closes at midnight on 15 January 2019.

Clive Grunshaw

SURVEY IS NOW CLOSED – thank you for your responses

Q: If the Police Precept is increased by the maximum amount in Lancashire for 2018/19, what will I pay?
A: If the maximum allowable increase is applied, the Police Precept for each property band will be as follows:

Council tax bands

Increase per week
£ £
Band A 134.30 0.31
Band B 156.68 0.36
Band C 179.07 0.41
Band D 201.45 0.46
Band E 246.22 0.56
Band F 290.98 0.67
Band G 335.75 0.77
Band H 402.90 0.92

 

What happens next?

The finding from this online survey will be considered alongside the findings from a Lancashire wide telephone survey as well as consultation at public consultation events before making a final decision.

A 2019/20 budget proposal will be presented to the Police and Crime Panel in January and the Panel will be consulted on my proposals regarding council tax.  The findings of this consultation exercise will be reported to the Police and Crime Panel.