Cheshire residents to be consulted on police funding | Knutsford Times

Cheshire residents to be consulted on police funding

By on January 8, 2019

Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner is asking Cheshire residents if they are willing to support an increase to the police precept to put more feet on the beat.

David Keane is today (Tuesday 8 January 2019) launching a consultation with the option to increase the policing precept in local council tax payments by £2 per month for the average band D household. This would help Cheshire Police to reinvest in neighbourhood policing and tackle serious and complex crime.

It follows a “disappointing” annual cash settlement from central government where the commissioner said the government has once again shifted the burden of police funding onto the local Cheshire tax payer.

In December, the government announced that Cheshire Constabulary would receive funding to cover unavoidable pressures on policing but it assumes that Cheshire taxpayers will fund almost two thirds of this through an increase of the policing precept.

David said: “The government has recognised that we need more money for policing but it is putting the burden on local taxpayers. Cheshire Constabulary has made more than £60 million worth of savings since 2010 but with non-pay budgets now over stretched, we have a stark choice to either fund this locally or significantly cut policing numbers.

“I believe that by funding policing through rising council tax, the government is essentially pitting the police against the local population. But without an increase to the precept, the funding offered for 2019/20 is insufficient to cover the existing budget, let alone inflation and increasing demand on our resources.

“With increasing pressures on household budgets, I understand that this proposed government increase to council tax payments is a bitter pill to swallow. However, I been left with no choice but to consult on the difficult option.”

Residents and businesses across Cheshire are being asked to complete a survey to give their views on 2019/20’s precept ahead of the commissioner setting the constabulary’s budget in February.

The commissioner will also be holding a number of consultation events across Cheshire for residents to talk with him directly about their priorities for police funding. Consultation events will be held on the following dates and times:

Crewe – Market Centre, Victoria Street, Saturday 12 January, 11am-2pm

Ellesmere Port – Market Square, Monday 14 January, 11am-2pm

Macclesfield – Sainsbury’s, 61 Cumberland Street, Tuesday 22 January, 11am-2pm

Widnes – Morrisons, Green Oaks Way, Wednesday 23 January, 11am-2pm

Warrington – Golden Square Shopping Centre, Friday 25 January, 11am-2pm

Cheshire residents can also give their views by completing a survey on the Cheshire PCC website https://www.cheshire-pcc.gov.uk/what-im-doing/get-involved/public-consultations/open-consultations/budget-consultation/

The consultation closes at midnight on Sunday 27 January 2019.

For further information please contact Caroline Tozer on caroline.tozer@cheshire.pnn.police.uk or 01606 364011.

About Lucy Thorpe

Lucy Thorpe is a freelance journalist who writes for the Knutsford Times - covering stories and news in and around Cheshire and Greater Manchester. If you've got a story to share, or would like to speak to Lucy, please email news@knutsfordtimes.co.uk

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