Police Boss Hogg Drops Referendum Plan After Government Climbdown

tony hogg scillyThe Police and Crime Commission for Devon and Cornwall says he will no longer be seeking to persuade residents of the region to support a 15% police council tax increase.

Yesterday Tony Hogg announced plans for a public consultation to assess whether people in the region would support up to £25 a year being added to their council tax bills to help fill a funding gap in the police force.

Any rise above 1.99% would trigger a referendum, which could cost up to £2m.

Mr Hogg says his decision to scrap the consultation follows the announcement yesterday from Policing Minister Mike Penning that the Government has abandoned the Home Office review of the police funding formula, which would have taken an additional £15m from Devon and Cornwall.

They’ll now conduct a new independent survey.

“Mike Penning’s welcome decision to delay the review of police funding means it is no longer necessary to make a decision on a large council tax increase this year,” said Mr Hogg.

“My team has shown that it knows more about funding than any other force in the country and more than the Home Office.

“I intend to keep this work going and to offer our support to the Government in the next phase of the formula review. Any new formula must recognise long-standing key issues such as the impact of rurality and tourism on the demands of policing.”

The change of approach means that the budget position for all police forces will not be confirmed until December 2016.

Mr Hogg now believes the force will need to find £39m in savings rather than the proposed £52m.

But he added that this will still be “really challenging” and involve the loss of hundreds of police officers, PCSOs and staff jobs as well as further police station closures.

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