TAXES paid to fund the police could be increased to claw back some of the £33million lost in government funding.
A consultation has started on the proposal to make a small increase to the police part of council tax payments in 2015/16 after the announcement in December the government grant would be slashed.
It is proposed to increase the precept by 1.99 per cent, an extra 1p a day on the average Band D bill.
Bill Longmore, West Mercia’s Police and Crime Commissioner, said the recommendation was driven by his commitment ‘to the best possible policing service for West Mercia and real value for money for the public’.
“This isn’t a proposal I have arrived at lightly, but everyone can see the level of cuts coming down from central government at the moment, and I feel that to freeze bills this year would only store up more problems down the line for everyone.
“Either millions more would need to be saved from policing budgets in the coming years, or council tax would have to go up very significantly to maintain a good level of service.
“Keeping bills as they are would be the ‘easy option’ for me – I’ve already said I’m leaving office in 2016 – but it wouldn’t be the right and fair thing to do as far as anyone is concerned. I hope people will understand that.
“My priorities are making sure the public gets the absolute best local policing service, now, and in the long-term – long after I step down as PCC – and that that service represents real value for money. I can honestly say I think this is the most responsible and sensible course of action in trying to achieve those goals.”
To take part in the consultation, write to West Mercia Police and Crime Commissioner, Freepost SY952, Shrewsbury, SY2 6WB or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org before 5pm on January 23.