Norfolk police ask for rise in council tax to avoid further cuts
- Credit: Steve Adams
Tax payers are being asked to consider giving an extra 8p per week to protect Norfolk police from further service cuts.
The proposed council tax increase is needed to help plug a £3.5m gap in the force's budget over the next financial year.
Without it, Norfolk police and crime commissioner Lorne Green said cuts would 'very likely' have to be made to neighbourhood policing.
He is now seeking views on the proposals as part of the annual police budget consultation, which was launched at an accountability meeting on Thursday.
Speaking at Great Yarmouth town hall, Mr Green said: 'The chief constable has stated categorically that, without a council tax increase, he will be left with no choice but to make further cuts to service, which will very likely affect neighbourhood policing.'
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The maximum council tax increase the commissioner can consider is around 2pc – equating to an extra eight pence per week or £4.23 a year, for a household in a Band D property.
Each 1pc council tax increase generates £0.6m, meaning that a 2pc increase would reduce the 2017/18 budget gap to £2.3m.
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'Less than 60pc of our policing budget is funded by the government,' he said. 'The rest comes from tax payers.
'With such a significant contribution coming from their pocket, I'm sure all Norfolk residents will have an opinion on how that funding is used.'
He said the force had made £30m in savings over the past six years. It has resulted in 300 fewer uniformed officers.
More than 30 people attended the meeting, with some raising concern about a lack of visible policing in the area, particularly in villages outside Yarmouth. Meanwhile, Mr Green has also announced plans for a car wreckage to be taken to Norwich City College as part of a new road safety campaign.
He said the car – and the driver – will be at the college on November 17 as part of a new bid to drive down road deaths, particularly among young motorists.
Visit www.norfolk-pcc.gov.uk/budget-consultation. The deadline for responses is Friday, December 9.