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Council tax raise for policing approved

Plans to raise the amount of council tax paid towards local policing have been given the go-ahead.

Derbyshire's Police and Crime Panel has today (Thursday) unanimously approved proposals to raise the amount of council tax paid towards local policing.
 
Last week, Chief Constable Peter Goodman wrote an open letter to Police and Crime Commissioner Hardyal Dhindsa recommending the increase to boost funding for Derbyshire Constabulary. 

Yesterday (Wednesday), the Government announced its plans for funding policing over the coming financial year. These figures were based on a council tax precept increase of £10 for a Band D property.

A ministerial statement issued by the Home Office read: "We also propose enabling PCCs to raise further funding through precept flexibility, subject to confirmation at the final Local Government Finance Settlement.  We propose to empower PCCs to increase their Band D precept by up to £10 in 2020/21 without the need to call for a local referendum, the equivalent of less than twenty pence per week."

Mr Dhindsa presented his precept plans to the county's Police and Crime Panel and has received a unanimous ‘go ahead' for a £10 precept increase - the portion of the overall council tax bill that is paid towards policing. 

He said after the meeting: "I am grateful for the Panel's support and understanding. It shows that they recognise the financial position in which forces find themselves, following austerity. A lower rate of increase would mean a less-effective police service. Clearly the Panel appreciated this.

"They also noted the public's views. In our consultation, both face to face and online, 47.1 per cent of all respondents supported a precept increase of £24, while an overwhelming 76.9% were in favour of £10 or more increase. I am tremendously grateful that our residents are willing to support policing in this way and assure them that they will see a more visible and accessible police service as a result."

Chief Constable Peter Goodman added: "I am pleased that the PCC has listened to my concerns around our funding provision for the forthcoming year, and has taken action by proposing a £10 uplift in the council tax precept at the Police and Crime Panel today.

"I would like to thank them for their unanimous support for this precept uplift, and after the Government's funding announcement yesterday, I am confident that we are able to meet the challenges that face the Constabulary in the coming year."

Following the Panel's decision on the level of precept and the Government's funding announcement, the Commissioner is now in a position to finalise his budget for policing Derbyshire in 2020-21.

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