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Monday 16 January 2012

Choose Your Option on Tax for Policing


People in Cheshire are being asked for their views on police spending for the coming financial year.

On the Cheshire Police Authority website they are being invited to choose between three possible courses of action which face the Authority as members consider the budget for 2012/13.

The Chairman of the Authority, Margaret Ollerenshaw, said, "These choices result from the terms attached to an additional grant which the Coalition Government is offering Police Authorities. If we accept the grant we will freeze the police part of the council tax for the coming year. But the grant only applies to 2012/13, so there will be consequences for the following year.

"Which route we decide to take will obviously affect people′s pockets. So, we want to know what the council taxpayers think."

One possibility is to freeze the policing part of the council tax for 2012/13 but cut the policing budget for the following year (2013/14) by £1.6 million more than the cuts already set by the Coalition Government.

Another is to freeze the council tax for 2012/13 and introduce a six per cent increase in April 2013. If the government does not allow such a large increase a compromise involving a smaller increase and substantial budget cuts would be necessary.

The third course is to raise the policing part of the council tax in 2012/13 by up to four per cent, which is equivalent to £5.76 per year or 11 pence a week on a Band D home.

Margaret Ollerenshaw said, "We have added this question to our budget consultation survey on the website. It seemed a sensible way to gauge public opinion on the council tax question and we will take into account what people tell us when we set next year′s budget.

"The budget consultation also invites people to choose between options for making savings in various aspects of policing.

"We are determined to maintain or improve the policing service in Cheshire but we have to make large-scale savings set by the Government.

"Hundreds of people have already visited the Authority and Constabulary′s road shows in town centres across Cheshire. They have given us their views by using an interactive video booth or by filling in a written questionnaire.

"We have a lot of important decisions to make and when we make them we want to have a very clear idea of what local people think."

To give your views on the choices facing Cheshire Police Authority, go to

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