Freeze To Council Tax Bills

16 February 2011, 05:00

After Heart told you yesterday that Norfolk County Council is planning on keeping their part of council tax the same, now the money paid out of our bills to Norfolk Police is being frozen as well.

They've announced their budget for next year and need to fill a £25 million pound funding gap as the government looks to make savings and get the country out of debt, so we could see hundreds fewer police officers as a result.

However, the police authority has agreed an overall revenue budget of £148,620,168 with no change to council tax rates for the next 12 months.

The police authority and constabulary say they have asked the government that Norfolk tax payers should not be penalised by the foresight of realising £19million efficiency savings since 2008  - savings that were pumped into reinforcing the frontline.

The chairman, Stephen Bett, who announced the budget said he was disappointed that strenuous efforts to persuade the Home Office to credit Norfolk for previous efforts to save money had been in vain.

Chief Constable Phil Gormley said:

"The key to managing change during years of a reducing budget is linked to the Constabulary’s ability to be flexible and adaptable in the way it deploys officers and staff. We are going to have to become increasingly expert at this.

Maintaining the current level of services is my aim for the Constabulary, but, in order to do this, we will have to adopt a policing style that delivers services at a price the public can afford.

This means we will continue to keep under review the way we are organised, along with the policies and procedures that guide our work. Ensuring the appropriate mix of locally-based officers with those who provide our emergency response function will be an important part of the equation.

I am confident that we can continue to put in place the appropriate plans to adequately manage whatever challenges the future brings and which allow us to prioritise the safety of Norfolk’s communities."

Suffolk County Council has already said that they are keeping their charge the same and the Suffolk Police Authority will be deciding on whether or not they will be changing council tax charges on Monday 21st of February. Ipswich Borough Council has already told Heart that they are planning to lower council tax rates by 1%.

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