Following the Minister of State, the Right Honourable Nick Hurd’s, statement on police funding in the House of Commons, Police and Crime Commissioner Michael Lane is urging residents to ensure they have their say on the level of contribution they are willing to make towards the cost of local policing.
In his statement the Minister announced that the cap on the amount Police and Crime Commissioners can ask their local residents to contribute to the cost of policing (through the council tax) would be relaxed.
Michael Lane said “I’m delighted that the Minister has recognised the need for flexibility in the precept local tax setting powers that a Police and Crime Commissioner should have. This has given me the option of increasing the amount paid for policing by £1 pound a month (£12 pounds a year) for an average household, if that is something that I would wish to exercise on residents behalf and that they would wish me to. This level of increase would help to maintain and restore policing in certain areas to the levels that our communities are asking for and the levels that we need to maintain – as I’m advised professionally by the Chief Constable – to keep us all safer from the greatest threats and risks of harm.
“I am keen to hear from our council tax payers the level of contribution they are willing to make. The survey is part of how I will ensure I hear the voices of Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, and Southampton residents and the results will help me to set this year’s precept.”
Commenting on the news that the Government will not be reducing funding for policing in 2018-19, Michael Lane said: “The announcement has promised that next year the same amount of funds will be made available to the people that I serve for their policing safety as last year, and that makes a difference, it adds some money back into the budget. I welcome the government’s announcement, I welcome the recognition of the challenges and pressures and will continue to press for innovation and change for the future that enables the outcomes my communities seek that of being safer.
“I’ve lobbied hard on behalf of the residents of Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, and Southampton for fairer and sufficient funding for our policing and for those aspects of my work beyond policing as the Police and Crime Commissioner, and this shows that the voice of local residents, the voice of professionals engaged in keeping us safer, is heard in government.
“The announcement is good news. It is progress, is not the end of the journey.
“These are short-term measures but they do deal with options for the next couple of years. In the longer term, I plan to continue to fight for a nationally fairer funding formula. I know that there are pressures on government, but I continue to believe that this is the most appropriate way for the long term future.”
The council tax survey is available at www.hampshire-pcc.gov.uk/budget.