Commissioner proposes increase to Greater Manchester council tax precept

Tony Lloyd is proposing to increase the police element of the council tax by £5 per year for the average Band D household – just over a penny a day.

This is a total of £149.33 per year or about £2.87 a week, and is one of the lowest police precepts in the country.

Tony said: “As a result of cuts to police funding in Greater Manchester, the Government has given me no choice but to ask local people for an additional small contribution to their council tax. I promise to make sure that this money is used to help Greater Manchester Police continue to have a visible presence on the streets of our neighbourhoods. 

“Greater Manchester Police has already made considerable savings as it strives to meet the £134m hole in its budget by 2015, resulting in almost 1,000 fewer police staff posts and the loss of 1,138 police officers from our streets. I now face tough decisions in the face of disproportionate cuts, combined with the uncertainty of what future Government budget decisions will mean for the communities of Greater Manchester.”

The proposed budget for 2013-14, which includes savings of around £12.5m, will help build on neighbourhood policing across Greater Manchester. It will also improve joint working with local authorities, the NHS and other public partners to address drug and alcohol problems and mental health issues. The Commissioner is also proposing to increase the number of apprenticeships currently offered by GMP from 22 to 50, providing small but vital employment opportunities for a number of young people.

Chief Constable Sir Peter Fahy said: “The Force has been through a very difficult time with the loss of so many dedicated staff and so much change required to cope with this. We need this increase in the council tax to put in more support to our operational officers to keep them out on the streets protecting the public, but even with this increase we will still face a reduction in staff overall. We are able to fund however a number of initiatives to further improve the local service to the public and the fight against crime and criminals. We know the coming years will not be any easier but this budget will help the Force to be even more efficient and to ensure that we concentrate maximum effort on protecting the public.”

It is estimated that further savings of £30.7m will be needed in 2014-15 and a total of £44.9m in the following two years.

Greater Manchester Police is in the bottom ten for council tax policing precept across England and Wales.

The proposed precept and budget will be discussed at the Police and Crime Panel meeting on Friday 25 January 2013, which is open to the public. The report is available on AGMA’s website.

The Police and Crime Panel is responsible for scrutinising and holding the Commissioner to account. It is made up of the nine local authority leaders and the Salford elected mayor, plus two independent members. The Panel is a statutory consultee for the Commissioner’s proposed precept levels.

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