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Norfolk’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Lorne Green, will take his proposals for the 2019/20 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 5 February. The Panel, which is made up of 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.
The meeting comes at the end of a four-week consultation period during which the PCC has been gathering views from Norfolk residents and businesses on how much they would be prepared to pay to help fund their policing service. The results of that consultation will also be presented to Panel members at Tuesday’s meeting.
“This is one of the most important decisions for which police and crime commissioners are responsible”, said PCC Lorne Green.
“That decision has implications for the Norfolk public on two counts – first, through the amount of police service funding coming directly from their pockets and, second, through the level to which their police force is funded and the service it is able to deliver to them.
“On that basis, I felt it vital that all Norfolk residents had the opportunity to have their say. I am very grateful to all who took part in the consultation, whether through the online survey, through letters, emails and telephone calls to my office, or by sharing their views with me as I’ve been out and about across the county. I value your feedback on what you want and expect from your policing service and what you would be prepared to pay.”
People taking part in the consultation, which closed on 30 January, were asked to indicate whether they would be prepared to pay more council tax to help fund their policing service and, if so, to say how much more. The options consulted upon were an extra 15 pence per week (£8 per year), an extra 31 pence per week (£16 per year) or an extra 46 pence per week (£24 per year) – based on a Band D property.
“The Chief Constable has set out very clearly what the different consultation options, including a freeze at last year’s levels, would mean for Norfolk’s policing service. He has said that a precept freeze would, inevitably, lead to police officer and staff reductions. At the other end of the scale, he has also said that, were I to raise the council tax by the maximum amount of 46 pence a week, this would allow significant investment in the force, including the addition of 40 extra officers.
“Taking on board what Norfolk residents and the Chief Constable have said, it’s now my job to weigh up all the information and make a decision – a decision which I will take to Panel members next Tuesday.”
The Norfolk Police and Crime Panel meets at 10am, Tuesday 5 February in the Edwards Room at County Hall. For the agenda and reports, please visit here.