Survey 'shows support' for increasing Merseyside council tax to protect police funding (From Wirral Globe)
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Survey 'shows support' for increasing Merseyside council tax to protect police funding
5:08pm Monday 3rd February 2014 in News
Three-quarters of respondents to a public consultation have supported proposals to protect police funding from cash cuts.
More than 2,000 people took part in the consultation undertaken by Merseyside’s elected Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy to find out whether residents would be prepared to contribute extra to the region’s policing budget.
Merseyside Police's main grant from Government has been cut by 4.8% this year – a reduction of around£12m.
It is estimated that by 2018 the force will have to make total savings of more than £100m since austerity measures began in 2010.
The commissioner’s consultation – the results of an online survey and a series of community road shows - revealed that 75% of people were happy to back the her plans to increase the police precept by 1.95%, with just 25% of the public saying they were not prepared to pay slightly more.
Mrs Kennedy will present her proposed budget to the police and crime panel tomorrow (for consideration. She is also planning to use £5.5m from reserves to balance the budget in 2014/15.
Mrs Kennedy said: “This consultation demonstrates beyond doubt that people on Merseyside are prepared to play their part to protect their neighbourhoods.
“This increase in the police precept is essential if I am to protect frontline police services. Without raising additional money from the public, further cuts to police officer numbers and services would be inevitable.
“The reality is that if these cuts continue, Merseyside Police will simply not be able to continue to deliver the services it currently provides to keep our communities safe.”
The increase amounts to 4p a week, or £2 a year, for a Band A household or £3 for a Band D property. The majority of homes on Merseyside fall into the Band A category.
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