Cumbria councillors reject crime commissioner's bid for more police cash

REJECTED: But Richard Rhodes has power to ignore vote against precept rise

REJECTED: But Richard Rhodes has power to ignore vote against precept rise

First published in News
Last updated

CUMBRIA’S Police and Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes has had his request for more cash for the county’s force rejected.

Cumbria’s police and crime panel - made up of county councillors - today voted to reject revised council tax precept proposals from Mr Rhodes.

But the commissioner has the power to ignore the vote and could still push the proposed 1.93 per cent rise through. If this happens, the panel has no powers to appeal the decision.

A spokesman for the Police and Crime Commissioner said: “Mr Rhodes is reflecting on yesterday’s meeting and is speaking to the Chief Constable.”

In January, Mr Rhodes had his proposal for a 1.99 per cent precept increase rejected by the panel.

When his revised proposal for a 1.93 per cent rise went to the vote today, the panel was split eight votes to three against it.

Those opposing the rise said the it was unjustified at a time when crime is going down in Cumbria and that the county was ‘on the whole better off’ in terms of resources and police officers compared to similar forces.

A public Executive Board meeting will be held on Monday (Feb 24) at Carleton Hall, Penrith, where Mr Rhodes will decide the next steps.

Comments (2)

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5:54pm Fri 21 Feb 14

Hoad Hill says...

Since 1998 the Police precept has increased by 251% compared to the County Council portion of the Council Tax increase of 99% and SLDC 91%.
This is because the police precept has been increased every year by the maximum permitted amount, apart from one year when no increaser was allowed by the government as a penalty for an excessive increase the previous year.
A few years ago a merger with Lancashire Police was blocked by the government because of the difference between the precepts for each force. The Lancashire precept would have had to be increased significantly to match that in Cumbria and the government wouldn't allow it.
It seems that our PCC is no less profligate than the now defunct Police Authority. This is a county with very low levels of crime yet every year the police expect to increase their income by the maximum permitted without a referendum.
If Richard Rhodes thinks he has support for this increase, why has he set it just below the level that would require approval by referendum?
Since 1998 the Police precept has increased by 251% compared to the County Council portion of the Council Tax increase of 99% and SLDC 91%. This is because the police precept has been increased every year by the maximum permitted amount, apart from one year when no increaser was allowed by the government as a penalty for an excessive increase the previous year. A few years ago a merger with Lancashire Police was blocked by the government because of the difference between the precepts for each force. The Lancashire precept would have had to be increased significantly to match that in Cumbria and the government wouldn't allow it. It seems that our PCC is no less profligate than the now defunct Police Authority. This is a county with very low levels of crime yet every year the police expect to increase their income by the maximum permitted without a referendum. If Richard Rhodes thinks he has support for this increase, why has he set it just below the level that would require approval by referendum? Hoad Hill
  • Score: 3

3:51pm Mon 24 Feb 14

TwoHat says...

The majority of people didn't want this PCC forced on us, and now he has the arrogance to force an increase - against the votes of the council - at a time when everyone else is being forced to tighten their belts and accept cuts.
I don't suppose its worth writing to that nice Mr Cameron and ask him to reign in the excesses of his Tory chum? Probably not. They are all in this together, as he said . . .
The majority of people didn't want this PCC forced on us, and now he has the arrogance to force an increase - against the votes of the council - at a time when everyone else is being forced to tighten their belts and accept cuts. I don't suppose its worth writing to that nice Mr Cameron and ask him to reign in the excesses of his Tory chum? Probably not. They are all in this together, as he said . . . TwoHat
  • Score: 0

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