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Police part of council tax set to rise
THE police and crime element of council tax in Wiltshire could be set to rise in the next financial year.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire Angus Macpherson is consulting on an increase of £3.15 a year for an average band D home, from £157.77 to £160.92. He said the aim is to help reduce the impact of significant central government grant reductions for policing and crime services in the county. An average increase of £3.15 would provide the commissioner with an additional £740,000 for 2014-15.
Looking ahead to 2016-17, the proposed increase would reduce the potential funding shortfall by £2.3m, meaning that savings of £12.5m would be required rather than £14.8m.
Mr Macpherson said: “During the past few months we have been reviewing the budget very carefully and it is clear that as central government funding continues to reduce more and more, we have to look at a small increase in the police and crime element of council tax.
“The council tax rate for policing and crime services in our area has not increased for the past three years and it will still be the lowest in the south west. I do believe people will be willing to pay just a little bit more a year towards sustaining high quality policing and crime services in the county, especially neighbourhood policing.
“Ensuring value for money for residents in Wiltshire and Swindon while maintaining high quality services is very important to me. That is why we are embracing new ways of working smarter across the public sector; working with other PCCs and police forces in the south west and local partners. As public sector budgets continue to be cut, the aim is to work more effectively together to both improve customer service and reduce costs.”
The consultation period runs until February 3. During this time Mr Macpherson and members of his office will be attending Wiltshire Council area board meetings.
To find out more or to give views, visit wiltshire-pcc.gov.uk.
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