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Gloucestershire Business News

£2 per month on council tax will give police extra £4m

A proposal to put up the amount people pay for the police through council tax has been approved by Gloucestershire County Council's Police and Crime Panel.

An increase of 10.6 per cent, the maximum permitted by the Home Office, will add an extra £2 per month to a band D householder's annual bill and give the police a budget of around £119.912m for the current financial year.

Taking into account rising inflation and other commitments agreed by the government, it will give the constabulary an extra £4.1m to invest.

Martin Surl (pictured), police and crime commissioner, put the proposal forward.

"Putting up the council tax is not a decision I take lightly. I think police funding should be the responsibility of national government and should be shared with big business, the big internet companies who must bear much of the responsibility for the increase in web related crime and others," said Mr Surl.

"Gloucestershire gets one of the lowest grants from central government. The balance between central funding and council tax is about 50/50. It's the government's strategy to put the burden on local people, so we have no other choice.

"We've lobbied everyone - government, ministers and the chancellor and there's no other funding available. If the cuts of the last decade aren't halted, Gloucestershire will be in a weaker position and I'm not prepared to countenance that."

The proposals agreed also provide for one per cent of the policing budget to be made available to continue to support community projects and programmes managed through the Commissioner's Fund. It is an approach to crime reduction that now funds nearly 450 local initiatives countywide.

For 2019/20 Gloucestershire Police will receive £86.43 per head of population, compared with the national average of £121.02. Some forces receive over £150 per head of population.

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