How Much Are You Willing to Pay?
Gwent PCC Ian Johnston is required to ensure that all the people who live in Gwent have an efficient and effective police service and he has a legal requirement to set the police budget and determine the police and crime priorities for the area.
With this in mind, Mr Johnston officially launched his two month long 'Have Your Say' consultation survey at his public surgery in Winchestown, Nantyglo today. The consultation asks people for their feedback on three areas of consideration which are:
- The range of precept (the policing part of the council tax) proposals for next year,
- His police and crime priorities for Gwent,
- And the reopening of local police stations across the area.
Due to continuous funding cuts by the Government, Gwent Police will potentially face a deficit of £50.2 million by 2018/19. The Commissioner is required to set the part of the council tax, known as the precept for 2015/16. The first part of the consultation launched today provides a range of options and asks residents what level of precept setting they believe to be fair and also explains the financial outcomes of those choices.
For example, the average band D household in Gwent currently pays £203.50 per year or £3.92 per week towards policing. A 0% increase to the precept next year would mean that Gwent Police would suffer a funding shortfall equivalent to the cost of 140 Police Officer posts. However, an increase of 16.14% (£32.84 per year per band D household) would mean that Gwent Police faces no funding shortfall.
Based on public consultation, the Commissioner published his police and crime priorities for Gwent in his Police and Crime Plan 2013 / 2017 www.gwent.pcc.police.uk/plan/ The second part of his consultation asks residents to share their thoughts on whether these priorities are as relevant today and, if not, what alternatives could be considered.
And following feedback from the community, the Commissioner also reopened several Gwent police stations which had previously been closed or had limited opening hours earlier this year. The final part of the survey asks residents to indicate how much they value the reopening of a number of stations across the Gwent area.
Urging as many people in Gwent to have their say by completing the survey, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Ian Johnston, said: "I have identified that due to the continual funding cuts that are being inflicted upon Gwent Police by the Government I need to increase the amount of council tax collected locally in order to maintain, as far as possible, the policing service provided to Gwent residents. I am keen to hear what you think so that my decisions take your views into account when setting the policing precept for next year and reviewing the Gwent Police priorities."
The survey will run from today (Wednesday October 1st) and the closing date for all responses is Sunday 30th November 2014. The results of this survey will inform the police precept setting for 2015 / 2016 and the Police and Crime Plan.n The results will be available via the Commissioner's website by the end of 2014.
Follow the link to complete the online version of the survey http://bit.ly/gwentpccyoursay
Other formats of the survey are also available on request from the Police and Crime Commissioner's office by emailing Commissioner@gwent.pnn.police.uk
Please email electronic copies to this address and send all hard copy responses by post to:
The Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner