Police seek views on tax increase in Rutland and Lincolnshire

Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Hardwick EMN-150616-110801001
Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Alan Hardwick EMN-150616-110801001

The area’s police commissioners have asked for views on a possible tax rise after the Government revealed its funding plans.

The Home Office has announced only a slight reduction in the police settlement, which is the money police forces receive from the Government, for 2016/17.

However, the cut presumes that forces will increase their precept, or slice of the overall council tax bill, by two per cent. If forces wishes to increase about that amount, they must hold a public referendum.

A new police funding formula was due to come into place next year, but was put back after an error in calculations.

Police and crime commissioners have cautiously welcomed the news, but have launched consultations to get people’s views on a possible tax increase.

Lincolnshire’s commissioner Alan Hardwick has campaigned for a fairer settlement for the county since he was elected.

He said: “The new funding formula which has been delayed must ensure those forces such as Lincolnshire that have a history of delivering efficiencies are not penalised in the future. The new funding arrangements need to incentivise those less efficient forces into action. This is not evident in this year’s settlement.”

Mr Hardwick said he raised about 40 per cent of the cost of policing in Lincolnshire from the council tax precept - a sum he believes is unfair. He said he did not want to place a greater burden on taxpayers but also had a “duty to maintain efficient and effective police services”.

Leicestershire and Rutland commissioner Sir Clive Loader also welcomed the settlement, but said it was “not entirely without financial implications to our budget”.

He added: “Overall, there is a degree of relief that the position is not worse, but we need to look very carefully at the detail before preparing our budgets for the coming year.”

To have your say visit www.lincolnshire-pcc.gov.uk if you live in Lincolnshire, or www.leics.pcc.police.uk if you live in Rutland.