Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner is seeking the views of residents in South Yorkshire on setting the council tax precept for policing for the financial year starting in April 2020.
The police budget is made up of a Government allocation of funding plus money raised from the Council Tax precept and other government grants. The precept is the part of the Council Tax that contributes towards the total funding available to the Police and Crime Commissioner to provide policing, community safety and victims’ services.
The Government’s announcement of the police funding settlement, normally received in December, was delayed due to the General Election. We are currently still waiting for the announcement, which will then allow us to calculate how much is needed to be raised from the Council Tax precept to ensure a balanced budget for the provision of policing and crime services in South Yorkshire.
The Police and Crime Commissioners have a duty to consult with residents and make a decision on precept levels for 2020/21 to propose to the Police and Crime Panel on 6 February. This allows very little time.
Dr Billings said: “I am very aware that the residents of South Yorkshire have been hit hard in recent years through austerity and asking for more money from their Council Tax will have an impact on them, I also need to balance this against the demand for policing services.
“In order to help me do this I am seeking the views of members of the public to find out if they are willing to pay a little bit more, and if so, how much more.
“Throughout the year members of my office have been speaking to people about a potential rise in the precept to fund policing and crime services. To enable me to set the precept for the coming year I would like to hear from the public on how much more they would be willing to pay. A small increase of around £3.88 per year (based on a Band D property) would allow us to maintain the current level of services with some small improvements or a slightly larger increase of up to £9.71 per year would provide scope for increased investment and improvements.”
The survey will close at 5pm on Friday 31 January.
Residents can check which council tax band their property is in at: www.gov.uk/council-tax-bands