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PCC to take 2018/19 policing budget proposals to Panel

Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner, Lorne Green, will take his proposals for the 2018/19 policing budget to the county’s Police and Crime Panel next week. Those proposals will include how much Norfolk’s taxpayers will contribute to funding their policing service through council tax.

The PCC will present his proposals to Panel members at a public meeting at County Hall on Tuesday 6 February. The Panel, which is made up of county councillors and independent members, will scrutinise the proposed budget plans, which will include the PCC’s decision on whether to freeze or increase the policing element of council tax.

“This is one of the most important decisions for which police and crime commissioners are responsible”, said PCC Lorne Green, “and, while the buck does ultimately stop with me, with 40% of our policing budget coming from taxpayers’ pockets, I felt it vital that all Norfolk residents had the opportunity to have their say.”

A public consultation was run before Christmas to help inform the PCC’s budget decision. The two primary options upon which the PCC consulted were a policing precept freeze at last year’s level or an increase of up to 2%, which was the maximum increase permitted under the central government cap in place at the time of the consultation launch.

Having lobbied central government to look again at police funding and allow PCCs more flexibility to set budgets in response to financial challenges and local policing need, the PCC also consulted on a number of supplementary options (up to a 12% increase) in order to gather public opinion and help inform his budget decision should that maximum cap be raised.

Three days before the PCC’s consultation closed, the Policing Minister announced that the cap would be raised with the maximum increase permitted in 2018/19 being £12 per household. That equates to a maximum 5.5% increase on a Band D property in Norfolk.

“It’s down to me to ensure our police deliver an efficient and effective service and have the resources they need to keep our communities safe”, said the PCC. “The Chief Constable spelt out very clearly what the different consultation options, including a freeze at last year’s levels, would mean for Norfolk’s policing service.

“I have listened to the Chief Constable, and I’ve listened to what Norfolk residents think, what they want and expect from their policing service and what they are prepared to pay. It’s my job, now, to weigh up all the information and make a decision – I’ll take that decision to Panel members next Tuesday.”

The Norfolk Police and Crime Panel meets at 10am, Tuesday 6 February in the Edwards Room at County Hall. For the agenda and reports, please visit the Norfolk County Council website.