Dates set for consultation over police element of Wiltshire council tax bills (From The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald)
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Dates set for consultation over police element of Wiltshire council tax bills
12:28pm Tuesday 14th January 2014 in News
Angus Macpherson, Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, is continuing to consult on the police and crime element of council tax for 2014-15 at community meetings throughout the area.
He is considering an increase in the police and crime element of council tax of £3.15 a year for the average home (band D property).
This to help reduce the impact of significant central government grant reductions on policing and crime services in Wiltshire and Swindon.
An average increase of £3.15 per household would provide him with an additional £740,000 of local income for 2014-15.
It would still be the lowest council tax rate for police and crime services in the south west.
Mr Macpherson and members of his team are attending Wiltshire Council Area Boards to talk with people about this.
Forthcoming meeting dates are:
• Malmesbury Area Board - Wednesday, January 15;
• Trowbridge Area Board – Thursday, January 16;
• Swindon East Locality – Thursday, January 16;
• Tidworth Area Board – Monday, January 20;
• Royal Wootton Basset and Cricklade Area Board – Wednesday, January 22;
• Corsham Area Board – Thursday, January 23;
• Devizes Area Board – Monday, January 27;
• Marlborough Area Board – Tuesday, January 28;
• Swindon North Central Locality – Tuesday, January 28;
• South Wiltshire Area Board – Thursday, January 30;
• Amesbury Area Board – Thursday, January 30.
The current rate of police and crime council tax for an average band D home in Wiltshire and Swindon is £157.77. This would increase to £160.92 under the proposal.
In three years's time - 2016-17 - a proposed increase of £3.15 a year would reduce the potential funding shortfall by £2.3 million, meaning that savings of £12.5m would be required rather than £14.8m.
Since the start of the austerity period, savings of more than £10m have already been made.
Mr Mcpherson said: “During the past few months we have been reviewing the budget very carefully and it is clear that as central government funding continues to reduce more and more, we have to look at a small increase in the police and crime element of council tax.
“The council tax rate for policing and crime services in our area has not increased for the past three years and it will still be the lowest in the south west.
"I do believe people will be willing to pay just a little bit more a year towards sustaining high quality policing and crime services in the county, especially neighbourhood policing.
“Ensuring value for money for residents in Wiltshire and Swindon while maintaining high quality services is very important to me.
"That is why we are embracing new ways of working smarter across the public sector, working with other PCCs and police forces in the south west and local partners.
"As public sector budgets continue to be cut, the aim is to work more effectively together to both improve customer service and reduce costs.”
Mr Macpherson will be speaking with the Police and Crime Panel about the proposal at a meeting due to take place in Swindon on Wednesday. The panel is then due to meet again on Thursday, February 6, where the commissioner will formally give his proposal to the panel.
For more information about the consultation please visit the Mr Macpherson’s website – www.wiltshire-pcc.gov.uk.
Further details about area board meetings can also be found on the Wiltshire Council website.
Views can be given on the commissioner’s website – www.wiltshire-pcc.gov.uk - until Monday, February 3.
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