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PCC to take police budget proposals to Panel

Norfolk's Police and Crime Commissioner, Lorne Green, will take his proposals for the 2017/18 policing budget to the county's Police and Crime Panel this 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 Thursday. 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.

Having run a five-week consultation before Christmas to explore public support for a freeze or maximum possible increase of 2%, the PCC will present the results of that consultation alongside his budget plans. Panel members will then have the opportunity to question the PCC before deciding whether to support or veto his proposals.

On the subject of setting the policing budget, Lorne said: "This is one of the most important decisions for which police and crime commissioners are responsible and, while the buck does ultimately stop with me, with 40% of our policing budget coming from tax payers’ pockets, I felt it vital that all Norfolk residents had the opportunity to have their say. I'm very grateful to all those who took the time to share their views with me before Christmas.

"The Chief Constable has also made his case on behalf of our policing service, making it clear that, without a council tax increase, he will be left with no choice but to make further cuts to service, which will very likely affect neighbourhood policing.

"It's my job to weigh up all the information and make a decision - I'll take that decision to Panel members this Thursday."

Norfolk’s policing service is facing an estimated budget gap of £3.5 million in 2017/18. The maximum council tax increase the Commissioner can consider, before triggering a referendum, is 1.99% – equating to an extra eight pence per week or £4.23 a year, for a household in a Band D property. Each 1% council tax increase generates £0.6 million; a 2% increase would reduce the budget gap to £2.3 million.

The Norfolk Police and Crime Panel meets 10am this Thursday (2 February) in the Edwards Room at County Hall. For the agenda and reports, please visit the Norfolk County Council website.