Suffolk’s PCC proposes 6.8% rise in the force’s council tax precept

Tim Passmore

Tim Passmore - Credit: Archant

Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner is proposing an increase in the force’s council tax precept of 6.8% – which will add an average of £12 a year to the overall council tax bill of each household in the county.

Mr Passmore is due to present his proposal to the Police and Crime Panel Meeting at Suffolk County Council’s headquarters at Endeavour House next Friday, January 26. The move would add an extra £2.9 million to the constabulary’s budget.

Mr Passmore said: “A major part of my role as Suffolk’s police and crime commissioner is to distribute the policing grants from government and set the policing part of your council tax.

“This means I am responsible for setting the budget, which includes how much you will be asked to pay through your council tax for policing our county, and deciding how it should be spent.

“In setting the precept I understand the impact that this increase will have on residents and it has not been an easy decision but I really have no option if we are going to maintain policing in the county.

“I hope the Police and Crime Panel understand why I have made my decision and support the proposal.”

The extra cash will be used to maintain police visibility on the county’s roads, to prevent criminal access to the county and to keep road users safe.

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It will also go towards new technology to help tackle the changing profile of criminality as well as improving the force’s emergency response, its capability to combat drug use and youth gang violence and the effectiveness of Safer Neighbourhood Teams.

Mr Passmore said the Government’s decisions to allow PCC’s to increase the precept, rather than looking at a fairer central funding formula, placed the burden for making up the shortfall on the Suffolk taxpayer.

He said: “Before making the decision to propose increasing the precept to the maximum level I sought views and I was reassured that the majority of the people that responded to the survey (66%) said they were prepared to accept the £12 a year increase.

“This extra money will help us to continue to keep you safe and meet some of the financial challenge that we face in the coming financial year.”

The public meeting at Endeavour House starts at 10.30am.