Hundreds support increase in police’s share of Norfolk council tax bills

Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Bett in the control room at Wymondham HQ. Photo: Bill Smith

Police and Crime Commissioner Stephen Bett in the control room at Wymondham HQ. Photo: Bill Smith

More than 63pc of people who have so far taken part in an online poll about how much Norfolk's police and crime commissioner (PCC) should add to council tax bills have supported a 1.98pc increase.

Almost 900 people have so far answered PCC Stephen Bett's question about whether he should freeze the precept, which is used to help fund Norfolk Constabulary, or increase it.

Mr Bett last night told the first of two public meetings to discuss the issue he was not putting forward a higher increase because any figure above two per cent would trigger a public referendum, which would cost the police £1m to send out revised bills if voters did not support the rise.

A total of 18 people sat in the public gallery at the event at County Hall, and 17 showed support for the 1.98pc rise.

A 1.98pc rise would see Band D households pay an extra £4.05 a year.

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The meeting heard that the force expected its government grant to fall by between 4pc and 5.1pc each year until 2019-20, leaving an estimated revenue deficit of £14.7m by 2019-20 if the council tax precept did not increase, or £9.3m if it went up by 1.98pc.

Chief Constable Simon Bailey was questioned about plans to ask parish councils to consider helping to pay for community support officers. He said he envisaged that five or six parishes would combine to jointly fund a PCSO.

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The second public meeting will take place tomorrow from noon at the Assembly Room, Town Hall, Saturday Market Place, King's Lynn.

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