LIVE WEBCAST: Dorset Police And Crime Panel Hearing
Dorset’s Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill’s proposal to freeze the precept for 2015/16 will be debated at the Police and Crime Panel hearing on Thursday 5 February. The meeting will be available to watch via a live webcast.
PUBLIC CONSULTATION RESULTS
The PCC has a statutory obligation to set the police budget and precept. Taking the Government freeze grant for one year will allow officer numbers to be maintained. Despite financial challenges ahead, Dorset Police is on track to achieving the savings required by 2015/16.
A seven week public consultation has been running on the 2015/2016 precept proposals, which closed on Friday 30 January. We received 2635 responses. Of the respondents, 29% have indicated that they support a freeze. 15% would support a 1% increase although this can be achieved by accepting the Freeze Grant at no cost to the council tax payer. 25% have indicated that an increase of around 2% is about right and a further 27% would be happy to support a higher increase. These results will be presented to the Police and Crime Panel on Thursday.
Dorset Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill said: "My decision to freeze the precept has not been made lightly. I have sought to balance the needs of our police service with the demands on families across Dorset. The government have offered me £574,000 if I decide to freeze the police element of the council tax for this financial year. My preference, naturally, is that wherever possible, I would prefer the government to fund local policing rather than residents of Dorset having to bridge the funding gap in these difficult financial times.
“I am pleased to announce that I have been appointed to the Government police funding formula panel where I will be fighting hard to secure fair funding for Dorset to move us off the bottom of the national funding league tables. The option of freezing this year’s precept seeks to limit the impact on council tax payers. I will be consulting with the Police and Crime Panel over my budget and proposed precept proposal before finalising my decision on this important matter.”
You can follow the meeting on the live webcast, and take part in the discussions on the live twitter feed by using #dpcp2015.