Posted on 22nd February 2012
Members of Derbyshire Police Authority will consider their final budget tomorrow (Thursday 23 February) when they will also set the rate of council tax residents will pay towards policing.
The Authority will decide whether to accept a one-off Government grant and freeze council tax at last year’s rate or to increase the precept by up to 3.99%. While the Chief Constable would like to see the precept increased to enable an early period of recruitment, members are keen not to place any further burden on the public at a time of economic difficulty and are likely to opt for no increase in the precept.
Councillor Philip Hickson, chairman of Derbyshire Police Authority, said: “We share the ambition of the Chief Constable to start recruiting officers again and we do want to stem the loss of officers from Derbyshire Constabulary but I do not think that raising the council tax precept is the right way to do it.
“The Police Authority has considerable reserves at its disposal and significant savings have already been achieved through our moving forward savings programme. My view is that we should use the reserves that we have to invest in some recruitment of police officers and police community support officers to halt any further reduction in officer numbers but that we should not be raising the council tax precept.
“The public of Derbyshire are under considerable financial pressure at this time and neither the County Council nor the City Council is raising its precepts and I don’t think we as a Police Authority should either. The Government is providing money centrally to help keep council tax levels where they are and we should be taking advantage of this offer and not raising the tax burden on our citizens at this time.”
The meeting will take place tomorrow at Police Headquarters, Ripley, when members will consider the various points of view before formally voting on the options available. The meeting starts at 9.30am and members of the public are welcome to attend and observe the proceedings.
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