Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner is set to raise the precept by 1.99 per cent to help the force deal with the impact of cuts.
Clive Grunshaw presented his plans to the county’s Police and Crime Panel on Monday night, and members backed his decision to ask for a rise from Lancashire’s residents.
The proposal comes on the back of a six week long exercise which gathered comments from more than 2,400 people from all parts of the county.
He said: “Lancashire residents have told me by three to one that they support an increase in the council tax precept to help fund police. More than 2,400 people had their say as part of the extensive consultation which is up 600 responses on previous years which just goes to show how strongly people feel about their police.
“In all 75 per cent of the respondents said they would like to see an increase of more than 2 per cent with 52 per cent prepared to pay up to an extra 5 per cent in order to help reduce the cuts facing the police budget this year. The remaining 25 per cent said they wanted to freeze the charge.”
Mr Grunshaw added: “When I took up office I made a pledge “to be the voice of local people when it comes to policing” and the consultation has helped me understand what our residents’ want. I surveyed people living across all of our districts and asked if they wanted to:
•Freeze the precept at the current £156 a year average band D bill amount
•Increase it by 2 per cent or 6p per week to around £159 a year
•Or increase it by 5 per cent or 15p a week to around £163 a year.
“I explained that raising the precept is one way we can help mitigate some – but not all – of the cuts we face. An increase of 2 per cent is worth £1.2m to the police budget each year and while a 5 per cent increase would be worth £3.1m, however I have decided against raising the charge by this amount.
“This is because if I want to raise the charge by more than 2 per cent, I would need to conduct a referendum across Lancashire. The cost of the referendum is estimated to be £1.5m which would have to come out of any additional money raised.”