Wednesday 28 February 2024
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Nottingham

Council tax to pay for police up £10 per year in proposals

The element of Nottinghamshire council tax bills which pays for policing could rise by just under £10 a year to boost measures tackling serious crime.

The rise is being proposed despite a percentage of residents saying they are concerned any increase will add to their financial pressures. A number of local district and borough councils have already announced plans to increase their shares of the overall bill.

Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Commissioner Caroline Henry (Con) is planning an annual increase in Nottinghamshire Police’s part of council tax by £9.99 for a Band D property, meaning residents will pay on average £254.25 a year.

Precept freedoms allow for a £10 increase on Band D properties, raising £288m nationally if all Commissioners take this up. This will generate around £84m in Nottinghamshire.

Mrs Henry is proposing a precept increase of £9.99 for the 2022-23 financial year.

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She said the additional funding will be spent on reducing serious violence and knife crime, violence against women and girls, neighbourhood crimes and exploitation.

Nottinghamshire Police also want to expand their digital capacity so the force can “better understand and respond to issues of greatest community concern”.

Investments include 45 new officers this year as part of the government’s uplift programme, including nine working in modern slavery and county lines anti-drug operations.

County lines gang crime can involve children as young as 11 being taken from deprived estates in Nottingham and put in crack and heroin houses across the country.

Dedicated mobile phones are set up so that drug orders can be placed.

Last year, 20 Nottinghamshire children were rescued in areas such as Scotland, Oxford, Skegness, and Newquay where they were forced to sell drugs.

Around £250,000 will be pumped into supporting officers tackling the problem.

A total of 24 officers will also be based in Operation Reacher teams, disrupting and dismantling drug dealers in neighbourhoods across Notts.

The precept rise will “allow Nottinghamshire to meet its budget pressures,” Mrs Henry said.

Last year, Mrs Henry’s ran a Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Survey asking 4,311 residents about the precept for policing.

Of the 40.7 percent of respondents that did not support an increase in the precept, the vast majority (83.3 per cent) cited personal economic circumstances as the reason.

One view stated: “It is a very poor time to be asking people for more money, the cost of living has gone up, while household incomes haven’t, and in plenty of cases, they have gone down”

She said Nottinghamshire Police is ‘heavily dependent’ on government grant funding, with two thirds of its funding coming from this source.

For 2022-23, the proposed level of net revenue expenditure after income and specific grants is £247.7m which is an increase of 6.2 per cent over the 2020-21 amount of £253.2m.

Mrs Henry said: “Despite Covid and the huge impact on the Government’s finances the grant settlement was better than expected.

“However, the issue going forward in the medium to long-term is that core grant and Council Tax increases are unlikely to cover all spending pressures, maintaining the requirement for the organisation to continue on its delivery of efficiencies.

“Looking forward, the five-year medium term financial strategy for 2022- 2027 currently forecasts a total budget gap of £12.1m, with deficits not first arising until 2025-26.”

Councillors sitting on Nottinghamshire Police and Crime Panel are required to make a decision in respect of the precept report and the proposed increase for 2022-23.

Their views will be heard at a county council meeting on February 8.

Proposed rises to households: 

Band A – £162.84 to £169.50

Band B – £189.98 to £197.75

Band C – £217.12 to £226.00

Band D – £244.26 to £254.25

Band E – £298.54 to £310.75

Band F – £352.82 to £367.25

Band G – £407.10 to £423.75

Band H – £488.52 to £508.50

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