Budget consultation launches (18 Dec 2018)

The West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Mark Burns-Williamson has launched his budget consultation for 2019/20.

An online survey is now live which is due to be shared over the coming days and weeks, backed up by a limited number of postal surveys to widen the reach.

Running until 5pm on 16th January 2019, it asks communities how they would like to see money raised for the police part of the local council tax, called the 'precept'.

It follows the Government annual funding settlement announcement for policing on 13th December, which has given PCCs flexibility to raise their precept by up to £24 on a Band D for 2019/20.

West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC), Mark Burns-Williamson said:

"Since 2010 we have faced budget cuts of over £140m at a time when demand for policing and the complexity of work has significantly increased.

"Areas such as West Yorkshire have faced a greater proportion of their budgets being cut due to lower levels of council tax precept.

"Over the last two years, I have started to help rebuild frontline policing with West Yorkshire Police through the help of local tax payers, as the public have made clear to me that they want this area of policing to be strengthened.

"To continue to enable West Yorkshire Police to have more capacity to face threats in West Yorkshire such as Violent Crime, Human Trafficking, Cyber Crime and Sexual Exploitation, and to tackle the increasing demands for safeguarding vulnerable people, I will have little choice, but to look to increase the Policing element of the Council Tax.

"The Government have made it clear that to meet increasing demands on policing, and mitigate the impact of eight years of government funding cuts, they expect PCCs to increase the police precept by the maximum amount which accounts for more than half (£500m plus) of what was announced in the national policing settlement.

"In West Yorkshire that would mean Police council tax increasing by £24 a year or just under 50p a week for a band 'D' council taxpayer, although in reality most people would pay less on average, with the majority being in bands A to C. Click here to check the tax band of your home.

"These increases on the policing precept in West Yorkshire would still mean that local people are paying less than neighbouring forces as we have the 3rd lowest Police precept in England and Wales.

"Before shaping my final proposal on the local policing precept and budget, however, I want to hear the views of the public.

"I have therefore launched an online survey and a limited postal survey, which will form part of the regular planned 'Your Views' feedback over the coming days and weeks."

© Copyright West Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner 2019