Council Tax in Buckinghamshire is set to rise following a decision bmembers of the Thames Valley Police and Crime Panel to approved the Police and Crime Commissioner’s proposed council tax precept increase of 1.99% for 2015/16 at their meeting on Friday 30th January 2015.
Policing forms part of their annual council tax bill paid by every Council Tax payer.
The Commissioner, Anthony Stansfeld, presented his budget plans to the Panel, reporting that the Force’s central government funding had been cut by almost 5% for the coming financial year. He said that although some assumptions had to be made regarding future government grant funding, the precept increase would mitigate any adverse impact of funding on front line policing; would support delivery of the Police and Crime Plan; and enable additional funding for the introduction of the Berkshire Multi-Agency Safeguarding Hubs (MASH) and other resources to help protect vulnerable people.
Trevor Egleton, Panel Chairman, said: ‘After careful and effective scrutiny of the Commissioner’s proposed policing budget and precept plans, the Panel was satisfied that the Commissioner’s budget was appropriate and that the precept increase was necessary to ensure the overall Police and Crime Plan can be delivered.
We understand that few people welcome an increase in their council tax bill but we believe the increase is acceptable given that it is in line with most other areas nationally.’
At the meeting, Panel members also received an update from the Commissioner on the recruitment of the new Chief Constable for the Thames Valley.
The Commissioner reported that he hopes to be able to announce the appointment by the end of March 2015 following a stringent recruitment process. Chief Constable Sara Thornton is expected to take up her new role as Chair of the National Police Chiefs’ Council in April 2015.