PCC Sets Gwent Precept
To help maintain frontline policing and achieve a balanced budget, the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, has set the rise in the part of the Council Tax that goes to Gwent Police at 4.37%.
This means that, from April this year, the average Gwent household* will now pay just over 19p extra per week for its policing service. This will enable the Chief Constable of Gwent Police to maintain current services and achieve a balanced budget in 2018/19.
The funding of Gwent Police and the provision of policing services in Gwent forms part of PCC Jeff Cuthbert’s statutory duties. To ensure that all the people who live in Gwent have an efficient and effective police service which provides value for money, Mr Cuthbert is required to determine the budget for 2018/19 and then set the Police Precept (the proportion of the cost of policing paid from your council tax).
Last month, the independent Gwent Police and Crime Panel asked Mr Cuthbert to consider an alternative increase of 3.99% to his proposed increase of 4.49%. After careful consideration, Mr Cuthbert has decided to set the increase at 4.37%. This figure is based on a robust financial case and the findings of a consultation launched by Mr Cuthbert which asked residents how much they would be willing to pay for their policing service. The majority of respondents (68%) said that they would be in favour of increasing the precept by 3.99% to protect their policing service. 54.6% were in favour of a 4.99% increase and 51.8% were in favour of a 5.99% increase.
The 4.37% increase will ensure that Gwent Police maintains frontline policing numbers and achieves a balanced budget in 2018/19.
Due to insufficient funding from the UK Government; an increase in recorded crime; and more complex crimes being committed, Gwent PCC Jeff Cuthbert said he had no choice other than to turn to the local population and increase the Precept to safeguard the most vulnerable in our communities. A lack of investment would have undoubtedly led to a reduced policing service and subsequent reduction in public confidence according to the Commissioner.
Highlighting the reason behind his decision, Gwent PCC Jeff Cuthbert said: “The decision to increase the Precept is not one I have taken lightly and I recognise that any increase in taxation at any level will be challenging for some of our residents. However, this is the right decision for policing and the safety of our communities and it received endorsement from the public in my consultation.
This budget will enable Gwent Police to maintain and protect the number of officers it currently has and achieve a balanced budget next year. It’s about sustainability moving forward.”
He added: “I would like to thank all of the residents of Gwent who took the time to give me their views and I would like to thank the Gwent Police and Crime Panel for their challenge and scrutiny.”
The full Precept report is available to view on the Gwent Police and Crime Panel website www.gwentpcp.org.uk
For further information about the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent visit www.gwent.pcc.police.uk