Hertfordshire Council approves tax rises proposed by police chief
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Hertfordshire County Council has approved tax rises suggested by the police and crime commissioner.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire David Lloyd recommended a council tax rise of £13 a year for the average Band D household.
Commissioner Lloyd’s office has argued a 5.5 per cent precept increase is needed to maintain current services amidst cost of living pressures.
Calculations released by the commissioner show the extra money alongside an additional savings programme, and a Government grant will raise £6.1 million for the force.
A spokesperson for the commissioner says the council tax rise will prevent the loss of any frontline officers, and ensure Hertfordshire remains the safest place compared to neighbouring and most similar counties, while also having one of the lowest precepts.
Also, the commissioner’s office claim that the overall cost of running the Constabulary is expected to increase by £21 million during the next financial year.
Based a plan formed after discussions with the chief constable, Commissioner Lloyd claims to have cut costs at Hertfordshire Constabulary by £7.5 million. These measures include maintaining Police Community Support Officers at their current levels, improving overtime efficiency and additional savings from the collaborated units with Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire Constabularies.
Commissioner Lloyd claims to run an office at an expense which is below the Government guidelines and is pledging to reduce the grant budget he allocates to local partners by £750,000.
He said: “My proposal to increase the police precept by an average of £13 a year was supported by almost two thirds of the thousands of members of the public who responded to the consultation.
“It is not a decision I have taken lightly but the standstill pressures of officers pay increases, alongside inflationary cost have led to a significant rise in the cost of running Hertfordshire Constabulary.
“A key part of my role is ensuring that the police service is efficient and effective, and that public money is being used wisely.
“This increase, alongside those identified savings, will enable the Constabulary to balance the budget for the forthcoming year without making cuts to frontline services.”