Thames Valley Police and Crime Panel agrees precept increase
At their meeting on 2 February 2018, Thames Valley Police and Crime Panel approved the Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner’s proposed precept for 2018/19. However, Panel Members were concerned about continuing pressure on police resources and recruitment issues being experienced by the Force.
Cllr Trevor Egleton, Chairman of Thames Valley Police and Crime Panel said: “The Police and Crime Commissioner’s (PCC) precept equates to an increase in the police portion of the council tax by £1 per month, per household for an average Band D property. This provides the Force with limited investment in high priority areas such as vulnerability and maintains the Force’s overall strength.
“However, the Force will seek continuous improvement and to revisit how their resources are used. The Mounted Unit will not be reviewed until 2019 and vacancies arising in the dog handling Unit will be reviewed as and when they arise, as is the case with all other Force vacancies.”
Panel Members expressed concern over the three year plan, despite there being a balanced budget, because of increasing demand for services and lack of government funding.
The Police and Crime Panel is required to review the PCC’s precept, funding which is raised through council tax, and has the power to dismiss the precept and ask for a further meeting to consider a revised precept. The PCC conducted a public consultation between 22 December and 11 January 2018 on the additional rise in council tax and 84.3% of the people who responded supported the proposed increase.
The Thames Valley Police and Crime Panel scrutinises and supports the work of the Police and Crime Commissioner which is essential for local communities who rely on fair accountability for excellent police services. The Panel is made up of representation from councils across the Thames valley, together with two Independent Members and is therefore unique in having such a large Councillor representation to help share good practice and maximise good communication across borders.
Find out more about the Panel’s work at http://www.thamesvalleypcp.org.uk/