Police and crime commissioner pushes ahead with 1.93 per cent rise on Cumbria force's council tax precept

NO COMPROMISE: Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes

NO COMPROMISE: Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes

First published in News
Last updated

THE Cumbria Police council tax precept will rise by almost two per cent in the next financial year.

The decision was made this week by Police and Crime Commissioner, Richard Rhodes, who revealed Cumbria Police will take an extra 1.93 per cent from residents - just weeks after a rise of 1.99 per cent was rejected by the Police and Crime Panel.

“We are extremely fortunate that levels of crime are low and it is important to maintain these low levels,” said Mr Rhodes, as he announced the rise.

“The people of Cumbria deserve a police force that is there for them when they need it and I am not willing to compromise people’s safety.”

The proposal for a 1.99 per cent hike was made in January but was vetoed amid fears it could have led to a local referendum if government rules surrounding council tax rises change.

“This is a decision that the panel would rather not have made,” said Councillor Celia Tibble, chair of the group, at the time.

Mr Rhodes was given a deadline of February 15 to come up with another figure, which had to be decided by February 22.

The 1.93 per cent increase will be less than 8p per week per household - or £3.96 per year for a band D property.

“While this doesn’t appear to be a significant amount, the consequences for the long-term future of the constabulary are significant,” said Mr Rhodes.

“Failure to go ahead will mean that the constabulary’s income will be reduced by a further £2m over the next four years.”

Savings of £14 million have already been made by the police, although there is a further £10m to be saved by 2017.

Now the commissioner hopes the agreed council tax increase will enable a county-wide CCTV system, more officers on the street and more protection for the ‘most vulnerable’ children and adults.

“It is completely unimaginable and unacceptable that the police could find themselves in a position where they couldn’t provide a county response to protect lives and property - the core policing functions,” he added.

“As a result of financial constraints, other agencies are being forced to fulfil only their statutory obligations.

“Consequently, in times of difficulty, the police are called upon to react more and more.”

The decision was welcomed by the constabulary’s temporary chief constable, Bernard Lawson.

“These are particularly challenging times for policing in the county,” he said.

“This increase is an important element in supporting frontline community policing and enhancing public safety in both the short and long term.”

Comments (2)

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10:36am Tue 25 Feb 14

TwoHat says...

The majority of people didn't want this PCC forced on us, and now he has the arrogance to demand an increase in the amount we pay out of our council tax - 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 demand an increase in the amount we pay out of our council tax - 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: 10

11:12am Tue 25 Feb 14

Kendal lad says...

Crazy.
A rise forced upon us, with no recourse to challenging it, from a person who has shown a wilful disregard for the use of public money anyway.
Oh, and there is no appeal against the rise !!
Get rid of these PCC's. They are a total waste of money, don't help make our communities stronger or safer and are political puppets serving their own ends.
Crazy. A rise forced upon us, with no recourse to challenging it, from a person who has shown a wilful disregard for the use of public money anyway. Oh, and there is no appeal against the rise !! Get rid of these PCC's. They are a total waste of money, don't help make our communities stronger or safer and are political puppets serving their own ends. Kendal lad
  • Score: 4

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