Police and Crime Commissioner Paddy Tipping today (30 July) received a petition, signed by over 20,000 people, in support of a referendum which would increase the cost of policing to the average local householder by over £13 a year.
The petition, organised by UNISON, was presented to the Commissioner at his offices following a meeting to discuss views about the planned redundancy programme for 72 PCSOs.
After the meeting Paddy Tipping said: “I appreciate that people feel strongly about PCSOs and neighbourhood policing teams and I am a big supporter of the work that they do. However, the fact remains that over the past three years, Nottinghamshire Police has had to make savings of £42m, which is a budget reduction of 20%.
“Since I came to office the number of PCSOs in Nottinghamshire has grown by 50 to 317 and this is recognition of the value they bring to community safety. However, looking at the scale of the savings we are required to find, the only way of achieving such targets is a major reconfiguration of the services we offer.
“This year further savings of £12m are necessary. It means that we have to make difficult decisions and like every force, the reality is that there will be more tough choices in the future as the Government’s spending plans indicate further savings through to 2019-20. I believe we will see a 50% reduction in our budget between 2010 and 2020.
“We will learn more about the Government’s plans for police funding in the Comprehensive Spending Review in the autumn, the review of the funding formula and the resultant grant settlement. At that point we will be able to work on the 2016-17 budget which needs to be finalised in February 2016 using firm facts.
“As the legislation stands, a Referendum cannot take place until 5 May 2016 and it’s obviously there is a long way to go before then. It is also worth noting that no precepting authority has yet secured a ‘Yes’ vote for a rise in Council Tax while the very mechanics of a Referendum in the event of a ‘No’ majority would cost us in the region of £1m.
“My own consultation on the subject, which used a statistically representative approach, showed just 22% of respondents were in favour of the proposal. Those are very long odds against a risk of £1m, particularly when you consider the restrictions on campaigning during the build up to such a referendum.”
Media Enquiries: Sallie Blair - 01283 821012 / 07702 541401
Posted on Thursday 30th July 2015