Wiltshire Police council tax rise proposed

COUNCIL taxpayers in Wiltshire are looking at a two percent rise in the police share of their bills as the force faces huge cuts in central government funding.

Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson has put his proposal for a £3.15 increase on an average band D rate out for public consultation.

It would generate an extra £740,000 for the next financial year.

He believes by 2016/17, a £3.15-a-year rise could also cut the potential funding shortfall by £2.3 million, meaning that Wiltshire Police will have to find savings of £12.5 million rather than £14.8 million.

Mr Macpherson explained: “During the past few months we have been reviewing the budget very carefully and it is clear that as central government funding continues to reduce more and more, we have to look at a small increase in the police and crime element of council tax.

“The council tax rate for policing and crime services in our area has not increased for the past three years and it will still be the lowest in the south west.

“I do believe people will be willing to pay just a little bit more a year towards sustaining high quality policing and crime services in the county, especially neighbourhood policing,” he said.

Value for money was important, which was why working with other PCCs, forces and public sector organisation was being embraced.

The average bill for a band D property in Wiltshire is currently £157.77.

Mr Macpherson will discuss his proposals at area boards while town and parish councils will be informed.

The consultation is online at Wiltshire-pcc.gov.uk and runs until February 3 before the increase is put before police and crime panel on February 6 for a decision.

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