Melton residents asked to pay extra Council Tax to give police more money

SUS-170830-180354001
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Council Tax payers in Melton are being asked if they would be willing to pay an extra £1 a month to bolster police budgets.

The question is being posed by Leicestershire’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Lord Willy Bach, in response to a reduction in police funding.

He has launched an online survey to assess opinion on whether residents across the county would be happy to pay the extra, which would see Council Tax payers living in a Band D property paying an annual total of £199.23 in 2018/19 towards policing compared to this year’s figure of £187.23.

In 2017/18 the budget for policing Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland was set at £171.6m, of which two-thirds comes from Central Government with a third coming from local taxpayers through the policing element of the council tax.

Lord Bach said: “It is my duty to ensure an effective and efficient police service for Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland.

“Since I took up this role, the chief constable and I have been resolute in our calls for an increase in funding for Leicestershire Police but the police grant continues to decline in real terms.

“I would like to hear what local people feel about this proposal, which will see local Council Tax payers paying up to £1 per month more towards policing, so I urge people to visit my website and complete the short survey.”

Policing Minister Nick Hurd recently announced that the government was empowering locally-elected police and crime commissioners to raise precept contributions - the policing portion of the Council Tax - by up to £1 a month for a typical household. However, the government’s police grant will remain unchanged for Leicestershire.

Lord Bach said extra money was needed to protect neighbourhood policing, to boost counter-terrorism activity and to provide new technology to enhance efficiency.

He added: “Increasing Council Tax is never an easy choice but with no alternative source of income to plug the funding gap we are left with little alternative in the interests of the long-term safety of our city, county and Rutland.”

Go online at www.leics.pcc.police.uk/budget-consultation to respond to the commissioner’s survey.