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Panel supports PCC's council tax rise

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Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Sue Mountstevens' proposals to rise the policing part of the council tax have today been unanimously approved by the Police and Crime Panel.

The increase of 1.99% in the policing part of the council tax is equivalent to an extra £3.48 a year for the average Band D household. This means from April 2016 the average band D household will pay £178.26 for policing.

Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens said: “This was not a proposal I considered lightly. I am fully aware that hardworking families will find any tax increase difficult.  Although George Osborne said that he would protect the police budget, he expected Commissioner’s across the country to rise the policing part of the council tax in order to keep the police budget balanced.

“Over 70% of the 3,000 people we spoke to said that they supported an increase in the policing part of the council tax. I hope that like me the Constabulary take heart from this support because it shows that their hard work is valued and appreciated by the communities they serve. I am also pleased that the Police and Crime Panel unanimously accepted my proposals.”

At the meeting the Panel reviewed the budget proposals with the PCC and acknowledged that the final police funding settlement is better than had been feared. However, it was noted that £16.7 million of savings is still required over the next five years to balance the budgets and that the police face ever more complex demand and higher numbers of vulnerable victims.

The PCC reiterated her continued commitment to work with the Chief Constable to drive efficiency from collaboration and partnership working, in order to meet the emerging demand pressures and enhance service delivery at the same time as making the required savings.

Panel Chairman, Cllr Nigel Ashton, said: "While we all understand that tax increases are never popular, we do accept that policing has a great deal of support in the communities.  The 1.99% precept increase equates to £3.48 per year on an average band D property.  We therefore unanimously supported the Commissioner’s proposal.”

The Police and Crime Panel (PCP), is independent of the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner and oversees the work of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

Posted on Monday 8th February 2016
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