Norfolk’s police and crime commissioner has announced he is looking to increase the share of the council tax used to pay for the force by just under 2pc.

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Stephen Bett, who was elected as the county’s inaugural police and crime commissioner in November, says that increase, which equates to an extra penny a day for people in Band D homes, would pay for up to 10 more front-line police staff.

He also warns there could be a £15m funding gap in paying for policing within four years, with the force facing a “very significant and serious challenge”.

But Mr Bett is proposing to turn his back on a grant the government is making available in return for a council tax freeze, arguing that in the long term, that will not help.

He said he could have accepted the offer of a two year council tax reduction scheme grant, which would provide about £598,000 in 2013/14 and 2014/15.

But he says increasing the police element of the council tax by 1.965pc will give more stability in the long run when it comes to paying for recurring wages.

Mr Bett, former chairman of Norfolk Police Authority, who quit the Conservatives to run as an independent in the police and crime commissioner elections, said, “I made my pledge plan during the election; implicit in that is the need to ensure the budget can maintain the frontline for the longer-term.

“Whilst it is tempting to take hand-outs, these have an indeterminate lifespan and I do not propose to undermine the safety and security of Norfolk policing by over-reliance on temporary cash.”

His report, which will have to go before the police and crime panel at the end of the month, states: “The level of policing that can be provided in future years faces considerable challenge and much uncertainty. Prudent and flexible financial planning is essential and must be kept under continual review.

“On current projections there could be a funding gap of up to £15m from 2017-18. Even with different planning assumptions, although the total level of the gap would change, there will still be a very significant funding gap to face. Policing faces a very significant and serious challenge.

“The proposed precept for 2013-14 takes this background into account and provides additional flexibility for the chief constable to manage policing in the years ahead during these very challenging and difficult times.”

If the increase gets approval it would mean a Band D household would pay £200.79 a year towards policing. Council tax bills are also made up of a portion for the county council, other local councils and parish councils.

Leaders at Norfolk County Council confirmed this week that its proposed budget includes a council tax freeze for the third year in a row.

24 comments

  • Amazing , I have twice tried to post a comment on this site. No swearing , just pointing out what a waste of money the PCC charade is. Twice EDP has decided to ignore it. Censorship is alive and well.

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    norman hall

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • The best way a creating the money for more front line useful officers would be to scrap the PCC and his entourage. This position is politically motivated and has been forced on the British public. The introduction nation wide was 125 million pounds.Millions more will be spent annually on the paper shufflers. At the same time the incoming salary for a police officer has been reduced by 4000 pounds. Please, can anybody throw some light on this whole charade?

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    norman hall

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • So only a penny a day rise in council tax to pay for ten more officers. Is this what the PCC is in office for, to raise money? I certainly have no idea what this position was created for. The salary paid to Mr Betts would pay for two to three extra officers. As for his paper shuffling entourage ,the cost of which will no doubt run into hundreds of thousands would pay for a lot more than ten officers . Forcing this whole scheme onto the British public was estimated to have cost 125 million pounds. That is a lot of police officers. It was announced that a police recruits pay will drop by 4000 pounds per annum. So Mr Betts wants to raise taxes for ten more officers. Scrap the whole scheme and there will be enough money for at least double the number of officers. Without the hard strapped payer suffering. Obviously, this whole charade has some political deviant motive to it. Political control of the Police ? Can anybody explain the advantage of the PCC?

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    norman hall

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • He could save a bucketfuls of cash if the force didn`t keep on sending two officers, when one would do. And stopped them all going along to see how their mates were getting on. iAnd don`t get me started over the number of officers it takes nowadays to deal with a simple road accident which always necessities the road being closed. You can drive from one end of the county to the other and not see a police officer but when a simple shunt happens they come out of the wood work in their droves.

    Report this comment

    BG

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • Bett is asking for £2,849,250 more money by the way.

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    Rhombus

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

  • But Ingo, this is the Bett way. Why take a one-off grant when an tax increase is forever? Even so he's looking a bit out of sorts as a lone gun - this is well short of his old NPA team's record of a 42% increase over 3 years. Can someone calculate how many more front line bobbys we could get if he ditches his sidekick as well? I've probably missed my chance with that suggestion if the public consultation he opened a few days ago has ended already with the publication of his proposals. The £1.2M or so that the extra tax will bring in is about the same as the cost of him and his old NPA buddies. In PCC-world they have all been ditched, other than the gruesome twosome of course, so with almost £1m saved on NPA members' allowances etc, why is he also increasing council tax?

    Report this comment

    Police Commissioner ???

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • Didn't take Mr Bett long did it? Perhaps he would like to reveal exactly how much his little empire of non front line staff is costing ratepayers.

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    Mike Dack

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

  • Stephen Bett and his deputy Jenny McKibben on Nick Conrad radio Norfolk live.

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    Rhombus

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

  • So BG, where's the benefit of this slimmed-down structure being felt. Not in our tax bills for the coming year for sure. He is banking the max he can raise. We are paying to fund ConDem cuts to the police precept.

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    Police Commissioner ???

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

  • So BG, where's the benefit of this slimmed-down structure being felt. Not in our tax bills for the coming year for sure. He is banking the max he can raise. We are paying to fund ConDem cuts to the police precept.

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    Police Commissioner ???

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

  • Policecommisioner, he can't ditch her,, she is the unelected Independent who does All the work.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • Not content with hounding and persecuting the motorists, they now want us to pay extra for the privillege. Learn to "live within your means".

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    "V"

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • Interesting choice of words by the BBC presenter "the chances of being convicted of a crime at its lowest since....." Is that good or bad or somewhere in between?

    Report this comment

    Rhombus

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

  • We don't need all the coppers now anyway - BBC national news just been bigging-up some dubious report that crime levels have fallen so much recently that crime is almost non-existent. Is that to justify the 7,000 police job losses since the ConDems got in?

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    Police Commissioner ???

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

  • Wow Mr Bett 1.965 percent. I see you have bought a new calculator that can work to 3 decimal places. In past years you always went for 'stand-still' whole number increases like 4 percent? and 5 percent?. Just wondering how many millions could have been saved if you had had this 3 decimal point calculator during your 8? years as Chairman at Norfolk Police Authority. Is this another one of your famous 'standstill' increases?

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    Rhombus

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • Slightly disingenuous Norman, all public service had to make do with a wage freeze, for the last two year and in future years to come, except the police, who will get a rise this year.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

  • PCC Bett , elected by 3% of the electorate and faced with 25 million cuts in the next three years. PCC's were put upon a public opposed to them and are now trying to claw back the cuts from central offices from us. With energy, food and housing cost rising, this rise is not acceptable.

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    ingo wagenknecht

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • Norfolk PCC Stephen Bett police tax precept increases before he got capped in 2009. 2004 13.7 percent 2005 4.9 percent 2006 5.9 percent 2007 6.95 percent 2008 8.3 percent. Did we really expect him to change his money grabbing ways by giving him a grand new title? The PCP will do exactly the same as the previous 'independent' Police Authority Panel and automatically say yes. Go on PCP prove me wrong.

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    Rhombus

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • Norfolk PCC Stephen Bett police tax precept increases before he got capped in 2009. 0405 13.7 percent 0506 4.9 percent 0607 5.9 percent 0708 6.95 percent 0809 8.3 percent. Did we really expect him to change his money grabbing ways by giving him a grand new title? The PCP will do exactly the same as the previous 'independent' Police Authority Panel and automatically say yes. Go on PCP prove me wrong.

    Report this comment

    Rhombus

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • Sorry, "the chances of being a VICTIM of crime at its lowest since records began 30 years ago"

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    Rhombus

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

  • well well it didnt take him long to put on his political overcoat he doesnt want to use government cash he would rather make our lives even more miserable. how much next year and the year after until it is taken for granted he can ask what he wants and get it!!

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    i am mostly wrong??

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

  • @ norman hall. The old Norfolk Police Authority had a budget of well over one million pounds and a fairly large retinue including a CEO with an annual remuneration package of about £146K. All in all the cost of the PCCs is much lower than what went before.

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    BG

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

  • While Mr Bett may want a 2% increase what say do the public have. Many workers have had no increase in wages for several years. Money could have been saved by not having this silly election. 0% increase.

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    Michael Johnson

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • They need to use the money they already get more efficiently rather than increasing taxes again

    Report this comment

    Jacob Burns

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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