Published Friday 5 December 2014 at 16:31
Lancashire’s police and Crime Commissioner is asking residents to take part in a county wide consultation.
Clive Grunshaw is asking Lancashire residents do they want to freeze the council tax “precept” payment, increase it by 2%, equivalent to 6p a week or 5% which is equivalent to 15p a week for a Band D Council Tax payer.
The police budget faces an additional £20m of cuts by 2017/18 on top of the £60m already made since austerity measures began in 2011. The council tax precept makes up just 24% of the overall police budget with the rest coming from Government grants.
The Commissioner said: “I know it is always difficult asking people to pay more for something, especially when they may still be feeling the effects of the downturn, but I think the public really want to know I am doing all I can to protect the police force from unnecessary cuts and that means asking if they are prepared to pay a little more.
“If the police precept is increased by 6p a week or 2%, that is equivalent of 26 police officers or 45 PCSOs pay, national insurance and pension payments. That’s something I am sure the public would consider was worth spending an extra 6p a week on.”
The public have a range of options to comment which include:
- Surveys which can be accessed from all police enquiry desks and some libraries throughout the county during December
- Speaking to the commissioner at all public engagements throughout the next two months
- An online survey on the Lancashire PCC website lancashire-pcc.gov.uk which will be promoted to those living in Lancashire through Twitter and Facebook
- Four roadshows in different town centres in the New Year to try and engage people we may have missed through other channels
- Or people can call the Commissioner’s office before December 23 and request a survey leaflet is sent to them at their home address on 01772 533587
Mr Grunshaw said: “It’s really important that everyone has the chance to have their say and that is why I am launching this survey and a range of ways for people to engage with me on the issue.
“Inevitably reductions in budgets will mean some jobs may be lost across Lancashire in the long term, but a modest increase could make a significant difference.”
Savings have already been made through management restructures across the force and investments in technology to enable officers to spend more time on the streets. Further efficiency savings are in the pipeline.
The online survey will be found at www.lancashire-pcc.gov.uk from December 4, 2014 and will run until January 6, 2015.