Police Commissioner Asking For Extra 50p A Week On Council Tax
Islanders are being asked to consider paying an extra 50p a week to protect front-line policing in the region.
This morning, Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Hogg announced a consultation on increasing the amount added to your council tax bill, called the precept, which goes towards funding the police.
The regional police force is facing potential funding cuts of £54m and recently announced plans to close 34 police stations over the next five years.
Owners of band D classified properties in Scilly currently pay £1071 to the Town Hall and the Devon and Cornwall Police precept is £169.
The suggested 15% rise in the police precept would mean an extra £25 a year on bills. This would generate an additional £15 million annual income.
But any rise higher than the capped limit, currently 1.99%, would need to be approved in a local referendum, costing up to £2m.
Mr Hogg says a wide ranging consultation and a subsequent YouGov poll will indicate the likely success of the public vote before a final decision about proceeding is made early next year.
“I would be failing local people if I didn’t give them this opportunity to tell me directly what they feel about the future of our local police, and whether they feel strongly enough to make an extra contribution of 50p a week,” he said.
But he added that he won’t go ahead with this proposed rise unless he gets “a firm indication” that it is something people want.
Mr Hogg described the proposed cuts to spending as “disastrous” and said they could lead to the loss of 760 officers, all 360 PCSOs and 200 staff.
And he said less urgent police investigations will be under severe threat.
Mr Hogg has been battling against the Government’s proposed new funding formula, which he says disadvantages the Devon and Cornwall force by around £15 million a year.