Posted: Thursday 5th February 2015
Another challenging year of funding cuts has prompted my call for a 1.98% rise in the policing portion of the council tax for 2015-16. This amounts to an annual increase of £3.42 for the average Band D household.
The new average annual precept of £176.40 will raise an estimated £52.4m to be used in the fight against crime. I will ensure it is spent wisely and well in protecting all our communities from crime.
All in all, my revenue budget for this year is £188.2m – smaller than last year by £5.6m, or £10m less if you take into account inflation and a £6.8m cut in the Government’s funding grant. So, with no let-up of cutbacks in sight, we must make ends meet, fill our £11m funding gap and continue to reduce crime and improve performance despite falling numbers of police officers and staff.
A tall order then, but tackling crime and reducing victims of crime remains at the very heart of our plans. These include provision in my budget for new and different ways of achieving safer communities, such as prevention work and a renewed focus on the needs of rural areas. I am also protecting spending on community safety for schemes delivered with our partners, which will benefit all communities.
Adapting to our shrinking purse means continuing with our cost-saving and efficiency plans. But with less money in the pot, we have reluctantly had to accept that our recruitment plans need to be put on ‘hold’ for this year – though we will review the position after the General Election and the next Comprehensive Spending Review due to be held in the Autumn.
Be assured that I will continue to pursue all possible financial and performance benefits, and do my very best to protect front line services wherever possible.
Police and Crime Commissioner for Nottinghamshire