Council Tax Could Rise To Fund Police

The amount we pay to Wiltshire Police as part of our council tax could increase in future, as the Police and Crime Commissioner looks to ''offset further cuts in central government funding.''

Angus Macpherson says he is considering a rise of 6p per week for the average Band D home, equivalent to £3.06 per year - bringing a total of £163.98. 

it is claimed this would ''help reduce the impact of significant central government grant reductions on policing and crime services in Wiltshire and Swindon'', freeing up an extra £345,000 for the 2015-16 financial year. 

The Commissioner says the increase would still be the lowest council tax rate for police and crime services in the south west. 

Mr Macpherson said: 

"After a careful review of our budget, it is clear that we have to look at a small increase in the police and crime element of council tax to offset further cuts in central government funding in the coming year. 

''I believe people will be willing to pay just a little more for the policing of their area. I want to ensure that the money raised locally is used for local policing - that is Neighbourhood Policing Teams and Response officers. 

''It is important to note that the cost of policing to the people of Wiltshire and Swindon is the lowest in the South West region. 

''It is also worth noting that Wiltshire Police has recently been assessed as 'good' by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary. We know that we have to make further significant savings and we will seek to achieve those savings from the policing services that are funded centrally by the Government and delivered regionally. 

''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 across the public sector, collaborating with other PCCs and police forces in the south west and with 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. 

People are asked to share their views on the proposals until February 4th.

The PCC will also be presenting his ideas to Swindon Borough Council and Wiltshire Council's Area Board meetings. 

The Police and Crime Panel will hear more on 15th January in Swindon, and again at County Hall in Trowbridge on February 5th when the proposal will be formally presented. 

Have your say via the Police and Crime Commissioner website

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