Proposed Fire and Police Council Tax Precept Put Before Panel
Northamptonshire Police, Fire & Crime Commissioner Stephen Mold is asking for increases of £10 for police and £5 for fire in this year's council tax precepts.
The increase of £10 a year for Northamptonshire Police, around 19p a week for a Band D property, is below the level of inflation and would ensure that the Force can continue with plans to increase the number of police officers to 1500 by March 2023 – the most the Force will have ever had - and sustain these numbers in the long term.
Having more police officers has enabled a greater focus on the investigation of burglary, with the setting up of a dedicated policing team that has successfully reduced the number of offences in the county. Rural and roads policing teams have also grown, alongside neighbourhood crime fighting and problem solving.
Mr Mold is also asking for an increase of £5 a year – under 10p a week – in the council tax precept for Northamptonshire Fire & Rescue Service, which would bring the amount paid by a Band D household in Northamptonshire towards their fire service to £68.20 a year.
The Government has given eight fire services – including Northamptonshire – the ability to ask for a one off £5 increase in the fire precept because of their poor financial positions. Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service is the second-lowest funded in the country with the lowest level of reserves. The £5 increase will enable the Chief Fire Officer and his team to continue to replace essential equipment and recruit firefighters.
Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Stephen Mold, said: "It is never easy to ask people to pay more for their services, and I know that this year is more challenging than ever. The Government's funding to Northamptonshire Police is based on an increase in local council tax precept of £10 a year for three years and that will still mean yearly savings must be made but will allow us to build on the improvements that have been made and keep pressing forward with plans for more visible, responsive local policing.
"People consistently tell me that they want more visible policing and as a growing county, we need the extra officers that we are investing in. This increase will ensure that we are able to deliver on both those fronts.
"I'm also very grateful that I have been given the ability to ask for a £5 a year increase in the precept for Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service. It will give us stability from which we can modernise and extend the work that our firefighters and staff carry out to make the community safer.
"Our fire service already works closely with police to share services and buildings wherever it can, and that work will continue to make changes and build capacity in a cost-effective way so that we can focus the maximum amount of funding on the effective delivery of frontline services."
Around 14% of a household's council tax goes towards policing, around 4% to Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue, with the rest going to the local authorities.
The Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner's policing precept proposals will be considered by the Police, Fire and Crime Panel at a meeting that will be held in public, on Thursday 3 February.
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(Northants Office of Police Fire and Crime Commissioner, Social Media Engagement Officer, Northamptonshire)
Posted: Fri, 28 Jan 2022 15:19 by Vicky Smith