Proposals by the Police and Crime Commissioner to increase the council tax precept for 2020/21 for policing have been supported by the Police and Crime Panel.
At yesterday’s (6 February) meeting of the Panel, the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner, Dr Alan Billings proposed a two per cent increase to the council tax precept – the amount of council tax that is paid to the police to provide policing and crime services.
The proposal was accepted by the majority of the Panel.
The increase is equivalent to a £3.88 increase for a Band D property to £198.04 for the year. For Band A properties this equates to an annual increase of £2.59 and for Band B properties an increase of £3.02.
Dr Billings’ decision follows consultations with the Police and Crime Panel, council leaders, local councillors and the public across each of the districts of Barnsley, Sheffield, Rotherham and Doncaster.
The four District Council Leaders also supported the Commissioner’s proposal.
Dr Billings explained that he had kept the rise to a minimum as he recognises the difficulties faced by the public with rising household bills and living costs.
“I am very aware that South Yorkshire residents face difficulties in meeting the rising costs of day-to-day living and am conscious that the council tax precept is an added financial burden on them.
“This year the Government settlement has been sufficient for us to keep the precept to a minimum. However, I do note that there are ever increasing demands on the police force and that in future years they will have to make efficiency saving to keep the precept down.
Public consultation on the precept has taken place over the past few months both on-line and at public meetings, events and engagement days. Over 2,600 residents were asked if they would be willing to pay more council tax for policing and over 81% said they would.
However, it was clear that people do expect to see a more visible police presence within local communities and they would like to see the Force focus on priority areas of tackling serious violence and gang activity and to reducing burglaries.
The police budget is made up of a Police Grant plus money raised from the council tax precept and other government grants.