PCC Recommends Precept for Policing in Gwent

During today's meeting of the Gwent Police and Crime Panel (Friday January 24th) in Usk, Monmouthshire, Ian Johnston will recommend that they approve his proposals to increase the Precept. The Commissioner is required to determine the budget for 2014/15 and then set the Police Precept following consultation with the Gwent Police and Crime Panel.

The budget requirement for policing and tackling crime in Gwent for 2014/15 is proposed to be set at £119,656,328. Nearly two thirds of this budget comes from Central Government Grants (£76,843,090) and the balance is made up from the collection of the Police Precept element of the Council Tax.

The 2014/15 financial year has seen Central Government Grants from the Home Office and the Welsh Government for delivering the Commissioner's priorities in Gwent reduced by 4.76%(£3.8 million in real cash terms). To offset the impact of this funding reduction, the Commissioner is recommending an increase in the Council Tax Precept of 2.99% for 2014/15. This means that the average Gwent household* will pay £204.16 for their policing and related services during 2014/15 - an increase of £5.93 a year or 50p a month on what they currently pay.

However, the Commissioner is committed that the impact of these funding cuts will largely be mitigated through Gwent Police's existing efficiency programme, budget reductions and reserve contributions. Since 2008, Gwent Police has successfully saved over £27 million through its efficiency programme, 'Staying Ahead'.

In determining the budget requirement for 2014/15, Mr Johnston has had to take into account his Police and Crime Plan; the Chief Constable's view of the financial resources required to deliver the operational requirements of the Plan; the level of resources to be allocated for commissioning other than from the Chief Constable; and the cost of running the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

The Gwent Police and Crime Commissioner, Ian Johnston, said: "As highlighted in my Police and Crime Plan, my vision is to prevent and reduce crime and antisocial behaviour, support victims of crime and ensure the continued delivery of a quality Police Service which provides value for money for the people of Gwent.

This is why I am making these essential recommendations today. The preparation of the budget is an extensive exercise which is spread over several months and involves all parts of the service."

The Gwent Police and Crime Panel will now review the proposed precept and make a report to the Commissioner on the proposed precept (whether it vetoes the precept or not) by the 8th February 2014.

The full Precept report is available to view on the Gwent Police and Crime Panel website www.gwentpcp.org.uk