Cumbria's police and crime commissioner Richard Rhodes to set out budget at Kendal meeting (From The Westmorland Gazette)
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Cumbria's police and crime commissioner Richard Rhodes to set out budget at Kendal meeting
CUMBRIA’s police and crime commissioner will set out his proposed budget for 2013/14 at a meeting in Kendal next week.
Richard Rhodes will also reveal his financial forecast as far ahead as 2017 and how he plans to find savings of £10.2 million.
He will attend a meeting of the Police and Crime Panel at Kendal Town Hall on Tuesday (January 22).
Mr Rhodes, who was elected in November, has proposed increasing the police element of the council tax precept by 1.95 per cent in order to maintain the current level of police officers for the next two years.
But he warned the county faced losing 64 officers by 2017.
He said: “It is without question a challenging position with the financial forecasts indicating that £10.2 million of savings will have to be delivered between 2013/14 and 2016/17. This is in addition to the £12.1 million of savings already achieved.
“Therefore, I am proposing that the police part of the council tax precept is increased by 1.95 per cent, which is £3.87 a year for a Band D property.
“The increase would allow police officer and PCSO numbers to remain at 1,134 and 95 respectively for two years, but current predictions indicate a loss of 64 officer posts by 2017.
“I am keen to maintain police officer and PCSOs as many of you have told me that visibility of officers is important.
“I am pleased that the Government has listened to our views that it would not be equitable to change the grant funding formula without a full review of the Police Allocation Formula as any change to the funding formula will have a significant impact on future funding.
“I am keen to progress on key areas and public priorities such as antisocial behaviour and community safety.
“The proposed budget incorporates specific one-off funding for investment, both within the force and wider partners, for initiatives that can help support policing and reduce crime in Cumbria.”
Papers for the meeting, which is open to the public, are available at http://cumbriapcp.org.uk
The meeting starts at 11am.