Council tax could be increased to pay for frontline policing

Merseyside's Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy.

Merseyside's Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy.

First published in News
Last updated
Wirral Globe: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

WIRRAL people may be forced to pay more towards Merseyside’s frontline policing in the face of “savage” funding cuts.

Merseyside’s Police and Crime Commissioner is urging people to have their say on how she pays for the police, as she proposes a 1.95% increase in the police precept.

More than 1,200 officers, PCSOs and staff will have been lost from Merseyside Police by the end of 2014/15 due to budget cuts.

And with a further £13.5m needing to be cut from the force’s budget in the coming financial year, and a predicted further slash of £17m in 2015/16, police and crime commissioner Jane Kennedy has to find other means to keep enough officers on the streets.

Ms Kennedy is already planning to use close to £5.5m from reserves to reduce the impact of such cuts but without asking people to pay more, she says it will be impossible for her to protect those vital frontline police services.

The money collected from the public on Merseyside funds just 17% of the policing budget, with the other 83% coming from government grants.

Increasing the police precept – which forms part of the whole council tax bill – by 1.95% would equate to 4p a week or £2 a year for a Band A property, increasing the cost from £102.42 to £104.42.

For a Band D property, it would mean paying an additional £3 a year.

Ms Kennedy said: “Due to the persistently unfair funding cuts that have been inflicted upon Merseyside Police by the Government, I need to increase the amount of council tax collected in the region to minimise the impact of these savage cuts on vital frontline policing services.

“I know times are extremely challenging for people on Merseyside at the moment and every penny counts, but this increase is essential if the Chief Constable is to keep enough officers on the streets of Merseyside to protect the public.

“Without raising additional money from the council tax precept, cuts to both officer numbers and the services would be inevitable.”

The commissioner is seeking the views of people across Merseyside on the proposals and is holding a series of road shows to ask their opinion.

The six community events, one in each Force Basic Command Unit, will ask people if they agree with the proposed increase.

Ms Kenned added: “Asking people to pay more is an action that is being forced upon me by the Government, but it is a wholly necessary step if I am to relieve the pressure on frontline policing and maintain the high level of service which the force prides itself on.

“My priority is to balance the needs of families across Merseyside with the needs of protecting our police service.

“The Chief Constable and I are committed to putting the public first as we continue to keep Merseyside safe.”

  • Wirral people will be able to have their say on the proposals at Asda, Grange Road, Birkenhead this Wednesday, January 29, from 11.30am until 1.30pm.
  • Other roadshows will also take place in Liverpool, St Helens, Sefton and Knowsley throughout the week.

Comments (5)

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1:48pm Mon 27 Jan 14

rover600 says...

Oh marvellous, let's hold a consultation when everyone is at work!! How ridiculous.
I'd love to be able to get my point across, it being: There is no need for a hike to fund the Police! They are badly managed and that is where the problem lies.
In days gone by the Police walked the streets or even drove around in cars on their own nowadays it is akin to a miracle to see a Police officer walking on their own or driving on their own, so, if the argument were (Hypothetical numbers for illustrative purposes only) that we had in days gone by 500 officers on the streets at one time we now have either 1,000 (500 in pairs) or the opposite that is to say 250 pairs doing the same work as 500 used to do.
You see an accident these days, three four or five police vehicles in attendance with up to ten officers when in reality again in days gone by two would have done the same job.

Someone has managed across the UK for it is not a problem unique to Merseyside to convince the world that Police officers cannot operate on their own! I do not accept the current arrangements as effective or demonstrate value for money to anyone!

Wake up and smell the coffee Ms Kennedy.
Oh marvellous, let's hold a consultation when everyone is at work!! How ridiculous. I'd love to be able to get my point across, it being: There is no need for a hike to fund the Police! They are badly managed and that is where the problem lies. In days gone by the Police walked the streets or even drove around in cars on their own nowadays it is akin to a miracle to see a Police officer walking on their own or driving on their own, so, if the argument were (Hypothetical numbers for illustrative purposes only) that we had in days gone by 500 officers on the streets at one time we now have either 1,000 (500 in pairs) or the opposite that is to say 250 pairs doing the same work as 500 used to do. You see an accident these days, three four or five police vehicles in attendance with up to ten officers when in reality again in days gone by two would have done the same job. Someone has managed across the UK for it is not a problem unique to Merseyside to convince the world that Police officers cannot operate on their own! I do not accept the current arrangements as effective or demonstrate value for money to anyone! Wake up and smell the coffee Ms Kennedy. rover600
  • Score: 2

3:48pm Mon 27 Jan 14

ballacrain says...

I have to agree with rover600. As he states whenever there is an RTA it seems the whole police force attend when there is no need. As rover states regarding days past,it is surely time to look at history and see what can be learnt.

Ballacrain
I have to agree with rover600. As he states whenever there is an RTA it seems the whole police force attend when there is no need. As rover states regarding days past,it is surely time to look at history and see what can be learnt. Ballacrain ballacrain
  • Score: 2

4:07pm Mon 27 Jan 14

Thepleb says...

What a cheek this politician has got she initiates with the council the closure of the Cctv control room at the loss of eleven local jobs knowing full well the police don't have the manpower or time to take this over.Now asking for more money from council tax payers perhaps it might have helped if they didn't have to pay her £100,000 a year salary.
What a cheek this politician has got she initiates with the council the closure of the Cctv control room at the loss of eleven local jobs knowing full well the police don't have the manpower or time to take this over.Now asking for more money from council tax payers perhaps it might have helped if they didn't have to pay her £100,000 a year salary. Thepleb
  • Score: 5

10:30pm Mon 27 Jan 14

DaveMorgan says...

Vote against the Wirral Council Tax increase here: https://www.change.o
rg/en-GB/petitions/c
llr-phil-davies-free
ze-wirral-council-ta
x-for-2014-15
Vote against the Wirral Council Tax increase here: https://www.change.o rg/en-GB/petitions/c llr-phil-davies-free ze-wirral-council-ta x-for-2014-15 DaveMorgan
  • Score: 0

11:38pm Mon 27 Jan 14

Joeblogg85 says...

Thepleb wrote:
What a cheek this politician has got she initiates with the council the closure of the Cctv control room at the loss of eleven local jobs knowing full well the police don't have the manpower or time to take this over.Now asking for more money from council tax payers perhaps it might have helped if they didn't have to pay her £100,000 a year salary.
It's not just the £100k salary. She also has a big team around her costing a hell of a lot more! Anyone up for a FOI request?
[quote][p][bold]Thepleb[/bold] wrote: What a cheek this politician has got she initiates with the council the closure of the Cctv control room at the loss of eleven local jobs knowing full well the police don't have the manpower or time to take this over.Now asking for more money from council tax payers perhaps it might have helped if they didn't have to pay her £100,000 a year salary.[/p][/quote]It's not just the £100k salary. She also has a big team around her costing a hell of a lot more! Anyone up for a FOI request? Joeblogg85
  • Score: 3

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