DYFED-POWYS Police and Crime Commissioner Christopher Salmon is determined to keep this year’s real terms council tax precept rise close to 0%.
He is recommending a 2.1% rise in the policing element of council tax payments for householders across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys.
Last month (December) it was reported that the UK inflation rate, as measured by the consumer prices index, had fallen to a four-year low of 2.1%.
Mr Salmon said: “There remains significant pressure on household budgets. My precept proposal balances the needs of families with the needs of our police service.
“My priorities are strong frontline policing and a precept that has public support.
“We plan 30 brand new police officer posts over the next 18 months, have already made the police more accessible to the public and are working a lot more closely with key partners.
“Putting the public first in all that we do is a philosophy that I and the Chief Constable are committed to as we continue to keep Dyfed-Powys safe and to help Britain to balance its books.”
Mr Salmon’s council tax proposal would result in a policing precept at council tax band D of £210.60 (up from £206.28) – an increase of 8.3p per week. It would help deliver a 2014-15 Dyfed-Powys Police budget of £97.894m.
The proposal will go to the region’s Police and Crime Panel on Friday, January 24. Once the Commissioner and Panel agree a figure it will be implemented.
Throughout November, Mr Salmon consulted the public on a 3.1% precept rise. The feedback helped him in proposing the 2.1% figure.
In 2014-15, Government funding to Dyfed-Powys will fall in by 4.8% from £55.659m to £53.008m. A 2.1% precept rise would produce £44.886m for Dyfed-Powys Police.
The £97.894m budget includes cost reductions of £3.747m highlighted by the Chief Constable and Commissioner. These include savings to be made through the force’s Public First restructure.
Mr Salmon said: “Public First, driven by the Chief Constable, will see the Dyfed-Powys civilian support services become resourceful, agile, lean, adaptable and flexible. They will deliver efficient and effective support to frontline policing.
“The public tell me they want strong frontline policing. In modernising and streamlining our support services we will enable the police to do policing – and we will be offering more for less.
“Government funding for police forces has fallen by 20% over the past few years and one of my priorities is to ensure that we spend wisely in Dyfed-Powys. This money, after all, belongs to the taxpayers.”