Decisions by Communities Secretary Eric Pickles (pictured) means that another £1.38m has been taken from police and community safety in Greater Manchester.
Government infighting means that the decision on how much Police and Crime Commissioners can ask residents to pay for policing in their council tax was delayed until Wednesday 5 February.
That was FIVE DAYS after Commissioners were legally obliged to produce his council tax proposals.
Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd had asked for residents to make a £5 additional contribution this year. For people who pay their council tax monthly it means they would have seen their bill rise by about 40p per month.
But now the Eric Pickles, the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has dictated that that Tony can only ask local people to make an additional contribution of £2.97.
That means council tax bills will rise by about 25 pence per month – a difference of 15 pence.
But the overall impact of the decision means spending will have to be cut by a further £1.38m.
That’s on top of £12.7m of cuts imposed on Greater Manchester and ANOTHER £6.4m to pay for government pet projects and to bolster other areas of policing, including the Bankers’ Bobbies – the City of London Police.
Tony said: “This announcement from the government means that we have to find an additional £1.38m to save on top of more than £19m of cuts already announced for the coming year.
“My proposal was agreed locally by the Police and Crime Panel and I was consulting local people. But it would appear that Eric Pickles knows best. Perhaps he can explain to local people where we can find more than one million pounds to cut from the policing and community safety budget.
“The effect of this spiteful, politically-motivated decision is that local people will suffer. Let’s not forget that that this Government has already slashed more than £103m from our local police budget. We’ve lost well over 1,100 police officers and crime is on the rise. The Government needs to realise that this reckless programme of ideologically-driven cuts is damaging local communities.”
The government announced on Wednesday that Police and Crime Commissioners could increase the police element of council tax bills by a maximum of 2%. A higher increase would have triggered a costly local referendum. Last year, those police force areas with the lowest police precepts had the flexibility to increase council tax by £5 (the equivalent of a 3.3% increase in Greater Manchester), but this flexibility was removed this year.
The police element of your council tax bill will now be £152.30 for the average Band D property – still one of the lowest police precepts in the UK.
Have your say at www.gmpcc.org.uk/budget