Would you be willing to pay more to improve policing in Cheshire?
This is the question being posed by John Dwyer, Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner, who is asking the public to give their views on policing funding.
“We were all delighted when the Government announced recently that it would allow police and crime commissioners to protect police budgets,” said Mr Dwyer.
“However, we now know that the Government’s commitment depends upon commissioners, including myself, increasing our share of the council tax by 2% from April 2016.
“In Cheshire’s case, a 2% increase would equate to a 6p per week increase in council tax for a Band D property in order to enable existing policing services to be maintained. Otherwise, we will have to make cuts in police budgets for next year.
“For those commissioners who have historically kept council tax low, as I have in Cheshire, the Chancellor is allowing us to increase the police precept up to £5 a year.
“If this additional flexibility were applied in Cheshire, it would result in a 3.2% increase in council tax, which equates to 10p per week for a Band D property. This additional 4p per week investment would enable me to increase spending on frontline police services in the next financial year.
“I have committed to using any increase in funding to increase the numbers of police officers on our streets and to enhance the Constabulary’s ability to protect neighbourhoods from harm.
“I now want to know the public’s views on the options available to me as the Commissioner for Cheshire. An online survey will run between December 9 and January 14, giving you the chance to say how much extra you would be prepared to pay for the Constabulary’s services.”
The options available to the public include:
No increase in council tax – cutting police budgets by £1.1m annually and leading to a reduction in the number of frontline police officers.
A 6p per week increase in council tax for a band D property (2%), maintaining today’s spending on police services and protecting our current number of police officers.
A 10p per week increase in council tax for a band D property (3.2%), an increase of £1.8m to the police budget, all of which will be spent on extra police officers and keeping our communities safe.