Residents of South Yorkshire are being asked for their views on the setting of the council tax precept for policing for the financial year starting in April 2022.
Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner is today launching the consultation process to seek the views of the public before he makes his proposal for the precept for the coming year. South Yorkshire residents are being asked to complete a survey to say how much extra they would be willing to pay for policing.
The police budget is made up of a Government allocation of funding (75%) plus money raised from the Council Tax precept (25%). 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.
In the annual spending assessment announcement yesterday, Home Secretary, the Rt Hon Priti Patel said the South Yorkshire Police funding for 2022/23 would be £314 million, which is up from £297m for the current year, a rise of 5.8%.
However, while £233m of that would come from government grant, the remaining £81m would only be available if the PCC raised the precept by the full amount the government was allowing – £10pa on a Band D property. If the precept was nor raised by this amount, funding would be less.
Police and crime commissioners have a statutory duty to consult with residents and make a decision on precept levels for 2022/23 to propose to the Police and Crime Panel before the budget is set early next year.
The results of the consultation process will help the Police and Crime Commissioner to decide the level of precept that needs to be set to raise the necessary funds to enable the continuation of an increase in police officer numbers and to meet the policing priorities for the year ahead.
Dr Billings said: “The Government only funds around three quarters of the amount of money needed to run the police service.
“At the same time it wants us to increase officer numbers – something I support and I believe the public support as well.
“Whilst I recognise the difficulties faced by families in the current climate during the ongoing pandemic, I have to balance that against the need to ensure that communities are safe, that we have the means to see criminals arrested, investigated and brought to justice, that crime is prevented from happening in the first place, and that victims of crime are fully supported.
“I believe, therefore, that I will have to set a precept close to what the government is allowing. Even so, in order to balance the books, I will still have to ask the force to make significant savings.
“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.”
The online survey is can be taken here: hwww.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/H9QNFJY
The survey will close at 5pm on Friday 14 January 2021.
Residents can check which council tax band their property is in here: www.gov.uk/council-tax-bands