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Policing bill to rise
9:39am Wednesday 5th March 2014 in News
RESIDENTS face a 1.95 per cent rise on the police precept of their council tax for 2014/15.
That is on top of the two per cent increase already proposed by St Helens Council as the local authority faces cuts of £25 million over the next two years.
Merseyside Police set their budget of £332.6 million for the coming year at a special meeting, after losing a further £13.5 million in funding.
Government cutbacks of more than £100 million will have been imposed on the force between 2010 and 2018.
Police and Crime Commissioner Jane Kennedy said: “Setting the budget has not been an easy task, particularly in the face of continuing cuts from government.
“These cuts forced me to make the difficult decision to increase the council tax precept by 1.95 per cent. By also using £5.5 million from the Force’s reserves, I have been able to set a balanced budget for next year.
“This is hugely important as it means the Chief Constable can continue to recruit police officers, ensuring numbers are maintained and frontline services are protected.
“This is even more significant given that the Force have already lost more than 1,200 officers, PCSOs and staff in the past three years.
“I have already reduced the costs of my own office by £800,000. This is money which is ploughed straight back into the policing budget to defend it from further cuts and keep enough officers on the streets of Merseyside to protect the public.”
The rise will cost householders in a Band A property an extra £2 a year.
Ms Kennedy added: “The reality is however, that if Government cuts continue as predicted we will not be able to continue to deliver the same high level of service which the Force prides itself on and the people of Merseyside expect and deserve.”
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