AUTHORITY SETS POLICE BUDGET
At a meeting today, Cheshire Police Authority agreed a budget that will secure further improvements to policing services.
Police Authority Chairman, Peter Nurse said, "This is good news, we have consulted widely with the public, Members of Parliament and business who all stressed that there should be no reductions in frontline services. This has been a challenging decision to make in difficult times. We have set the budget with a modest increase in council tax and within the Government's limits, whilst maintaining previous investment and the number of police officers serving the people of Cheshire."
The police budget was set at £172,898,000, an increase of 2.9%. This means an increase in council tax on a Band D household of just over 9p per week.
Peter Nurse added, "The majority of Cheshire households fall into Council tax bands A to C, meaning an even lower increase for most, for this, we will still be protecting the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Cheshire is still one of the country's lowest funded police forces and the Audit Commission has said that we provide value for money. We are committed to improving local policing and the Constabulary is now in a good position to continue to deliver further improvements." Peter Nurse stressed that, last year saw improvements all round - "crime fell by almost 7%, meaning 5,412 fewer victims. Customer Service Desks helped to keep victims of crime updated about their cases and 83% said that they were satisfied with the service they received, compared to 79% in 2007. We have more officers managing sex offenders and working in the high tech crime unit, we have had several successful high profile operations to tackle criminal gangs, seize drugs and dismantle cannabis farms. We will maintain neighbourhood policing, the ability to answer and deal with calls from the public promptly and efficiently, tackle serious and organised crime and police the roads effectively."
This year, Government funding increased by 2.5%, barely enough to cover our operating costs, we have made nearly £3m of reductions in support services and taken £1m from our reserves to balance our budget.
Peter Nurse added "we want to see crime levels continue to fall and more offenders brought to justice. We will take all necessary action to protect the people we serve in all of our diverse, rural and urban communities and aim to make everyone safe and feel safe."
NOTES TO EDITORS:
Cheshire Constabulary employs 2142 police officers and 237 police community support officers. These numbers will be maintained.
The Government, in November 2008, limited or "capped" the Authority's budget at £172,898,000. The budget set today is set at this level, an increase of 2.9%.
|Council Tax band|| 2008/09 Police Council Tax (£)|| 2009/10 Police Council Tax (£)|| Increase per year (£)|
|B||105.58||109.43 || 3.85|
|F||196.08|| 203.23 || 7.15|
|G||226.25 ||234.50 ||8.25|