Suffolk PCC Passmore wants your views on council tax increase

Tim Passmore, Suffolk's police and crime commissioner (PCC). Picture: Suffolk PCC.

Tim Passmore, Suffolk's police and crime commissioner (PCC). Picture: Suffolk PCC. - Credit: Archant

Suffolk residents are being asked what they think about paying more for their police in a bid to keep the county safe.

Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore is asking people living in a home with Band B council tax – the most numerous in Suffolk – whether they would be prepared to pay an extra £9.31 a year for policing.

The government has changed the rules about council tax rises in a bid to ease restrictions on local authorities and police across the country.

Instead of a 2% cap on increases, Suffolk Police will this year be able to increase its element of council tax bills by nearly 6.8% if the PCC wishes.

However when Mr Passmore was re-elected to the position in May last year, he said he would be looking to increase the police element by 2% because that was the limit at the time – and he said he needed to ask voters what they would think about a larger rise before he set this year’s budget.

The rise would put the Band B element of police council tax up from £137.55 a year to £146.86.

Mr Passmore said: “Suffolk Constabulary does a good job for the people of Suffolk. It is a low-cost force and offers good value for money. However, we face significant financial challenges and this will continue for the foreseeable future.

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“On December 19th the Policing Minister made his announcement about funding for the next financial year. Whilst we will receive the same amount of core government funding as in 2017/18, the bottom line is this does not take into account the impact of inflation nor additional policing costs, so I will need to raise the council tax precept to cover this.

“I understand the impact an increase in council tax will have on you as a resident of Suffolk but I have a difficult decision to make.”

Mr Passmore said he needed to know whether Suffolk residents would be prepared to pay an extra 12.5p per week(in a Band B property), which would be difference between the 2% and the 6.8% precept increase.

The Chief Constable had told him that the additional funding, generated would give stability to the Constabulary and enable it to maintain and improve its services in the county which need more investment.

The survey is open until 5pm on January 10 and can be found here