Council tax funding for 2013-14 secured
PCC Alston is delighted that his funding proposal will go ahead.
The Police and Crime Panel for Essex met on January 31st, 2013. After a lengthy and vigorous debate, the Panel supported PCC Alston’s proposal for a small increase of just over a penny a day in the portion of council tax used to fund policing and crime reduction work in Essex.
For financial year 2013-14, this equates to an extra £4.77 per year for a Band D property.
Essex Police is about to enter the third year of a major four year change programme to save over £42 million from the budget. The plans to make these major savings already included a 2.5 percent increase in policing council tax for both 2013-14 and 2014-15.
PCC Alston said: “The painful facts are that Essex Police has already lost around 800 posts in order to meet £42 million in budget savings by March 2015. Even with the small increase – 40 pence a month – in the portion of council tax paid to fund policing and crime reduction work agreed by the Panel yesterday, the force will still lose 34 officers, 12 PCSOs and 51 staff posts in financial year 2013-14 as part of the four year plan that I inherited.
“We, the people of Essex, pay the lowest amount in council tax towards policing of any county in England and Wales. I thought long and hard before asking for this small increase, but in the end I decided it was the prudent and responsible thing to do.”
The Police and Crime Commissioner is also responsible for funding crucial community safety work across Essex.
PCC Alston added: “We spend less than one percent of the county’s police and crime budget of around £300 million on crime prevention. Over 99 percent of the budget is spent on paying for the police to clear up the mess caused by criminal behaviour. So, I’m proposing to spend a small amount of the total budget on work to tackle the causes and consequences of crime: youth offending teams, drug and alcohol abuse teams, and – absolutely crucially – organisations that provide support for victims of domestic abuse.”
The first draft Police and Crime Plan for Essex is out for consultation and the PCC wants to know your views.
You can view the Plan at the link here, and also find details of how to have your say.
If you want to speak to the PCC personally, please come along to the next public meeting, which will take place in Basildon from 12 noon to 2pm on Friday 8th February, 2013, at:
St George’s Suite
The Basildon Centre
St Martin’s Square