Police commissioner eyes council tax increase

Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire Clive Grunshaw
Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire Clive Grunshaw
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Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner is to ask residents across the Fylde coast to consider a council tax rise in a bid to help offset a £20m shortfall in police funding.

Clive Grunshawis beginning a tour to speak to residents about the possibility of increasing the amount households pay for policing through council tax as he looks to tackle the shortfall.

Over the next two weeks people will have the chance to make their views known at events being held in libraries, shopping centres, and during PACT meetings.

He will be at the Monastery of Our Lady of Hyning, Hyning Hall, Warton, on January 13 from noon-12.20pm, Fleetwood Library on January 14 from 10am-noon, Blackpool Library on the same day from 1.30pm-3.30pm and the Grange Park Community Partnership meeting, at the City Learning Centre, the following day from 1-3pm,

Residents will be able to have their say on whether the precept should be increased before a final decision is made.

Mr Grunshaw said: “It is no secret we are facing a significant financial challenge and, based on the financial settlement received in December, we now know we need to save up to £20m by 2017/18.

“Income raised through council tax is a vital source of police funding – and asking people to pay more is something I need to consider in order to relieve the pressure on frontline policing.

“The average Band D property in Lancashire currently pays £152.92 a year toward policing and the Government is offering a grant of around £600,000 if I freeze the precept at that level.

“However, if every household saw their precept increased by two per cent - 6p a week for a Band D property – then we would have an extra £1.2m a year to spend on policing. That’s the equivalent of 26 police officers or 46 PCSOs.”