PETER Nurse, chairman of Cheshire Police Authority, described the grant settlement as “disappointing” and warned it would means cuts in policing unless the Council Tax was increased to maintain services.
He said: “To stay as we are will require an increase in the Council Tax of £1.05p-a-month. I hope that the public will be willing to make this contribution to protect the police service in Cheshire, Halton and Warrington.
“To take the organisation forward we would need £2.93-a-month. This is the choice facing the public and policing in Cheshire.”
Cheshire’s chief constable, Peter Fahy, said: “We want to continue to reduce crime and increase the number of cases going into the courts. Despite the drop in crime the public want more policing but this settlement will result in reductions in staff unless the council tax increases significantly.”
Both Mr Nurse and Mr Fahy welcomed the increase in counter-terrorism grant and the flexibility they had been given in spending police funds.
But they pointed out that the increase in grant for Cheshire 2.5% over each of the next three years will only cover inflation.
It would not provide any funds whatsoever to improve existing services and respond to new demands.
They also warned that the Government’s wish to see Council Tax increases below 5% would mean losing up to 100 police officers.
The two men said: “The public don’t want that – they have overwhelmingly indicated their support to pay for more local policing through increasing local Council Tax.”