Police job cuts and council tax increases could be on the horizon in the New Year, Hertfordshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) has admitted. In an open letter issued on November 29, Hertfordshire PCC David Lloyd announced that residents across Hertfordshire will “probably” see a rise in council tax, while there will also be an “impact” on jobs within the county’s force. Mr Lloyd has said that he will seek to hike the police force’s council tax precept by 3.4 per cent – with another 3.4 per cent increase next year also a possibility. The situation comes as Hertfordshire Constabulary needs to make £30m in savings by 2018, as a result of £15m reductions in government fund grants and increased costs of staff, buildings and equipment. Over much of his first year as Hertfordshire’s inaugural PCC David Lloyd has been tasked with finding cost efficiencies, though has now admitted that budget shortages will be tough to cover without job cuts and an increase in the constabulary’s council tax precept. Mr Lloyd said: “When it comes to increasing the council tax precept, I would not do so lightly. In fact, policing taxes have been frozen for the last three years. I think I will have to ask more of residents this time, with a 3.4 per cent increase in the precept this year and potentially next as well. For a household that pays Band D council tax, this will mean finding an extra 10p a week for policing next year.” He added: “Further savings will need to be found in other areas of the constabulary and there will be an impact on jobs. Although the Chief Constable and I have been able to maintain frontline staffing levels to date, I am clear that the future of policing should not be reduced to a sterile debate over officer numbers; keeping the county safe is not just a numbers game.” In order to raise further funds PCC Lloyd seeks to further the sale of underused police properties. Figures released to My News Magazines under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that over the last three years Hertfordshire Constabulary has made £23.6m from the sale of former police properties. The largest of these was the former Hertford Police Station, sold for £14,257,000 in August 2012.
PCC ANNOUNCES POSSIBLE JOB CUTS AND COUNCIL TAX HIKES
Published on: 2nd December 2013 | By: The Newsdesk | Category: