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Scrutiny panel supports future funding for police and fire and rescue

Written by on 1 February 2021

Staffordshire Commissioner Matthew Ellis discussed his proposals at the Police, Fire and Crime Panel today for the amount to be paid locally towards policing.

The panel, which scrutinises the Commissioner’s work, agreed the proposal for a 5.99 per cent rise in the precept (the amount paid through council tax towards policing), which equates to 26p a week (£13.48 a year) for a Band D property towards policing in the county and city.

The Commissioner throughout both terms of office has committed to only increase local taxation through the precept where it was absolutely essential to do so.

‘I have always tried hard to keep the cost to local taxpayers down and since I first set the local tax for policing in 2013, Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent have seen the second smallest increase of all 43 police force areas nationally,’ said Mr Ellis.

‘Now more than ever, when people have been furloughed and it is so difficult for everyone, I feel it is not the time to ask the public for as much as you possibly can, just because you may have the power to do so.

‘I decided on enough to ensure the continued good policing we’ve all come to expect, but I’m very aware of what awful circumstances have been caused by the pandemic.

‘People in Staffordshire have already paid locally for a boost in an additional 91 police officers over the last few years and another 90 will be in place from Home Office funding by the end of March, of which we have seen and felt the benefit.

‘They have also paid for investment in other police capabilities such as roads policing and enhanced digital investigations.

Public services have been heroic in their efforts during these awful times. The ongoing effects of the virus and catastrophic impact on businesses, jobs and livelihoods means getting the balance right, between investing in services and being clear that people are hurting financially, is vital.’

The panel will consider the Commissioner’s proposals for the precept towards Staffordshire Fire and Rescue Service at a separate meeting on Monday 15 February.