Council Tax to rise to 'improve' Nottinghamshire policing

The part of Nottinghamshire council tax bills which pays for policing could rise to boost measures tackling serious crime – despite residents saying they are concerned any increase will add to their financial pressures.

By Matt Jarram
Wednesday, 2nd February 2022, 8:29 am

Conservative Caroline Henry, Nottinghamshire police and crime commissioner, is planning to increase Nottinghamshire Police’s share of council tax by £9.99 for a Band D property, meaning residents will pay on average £254.25 a year.

Precept freedoms allow for a £10 increase on Band D properties, raising £288 million nationally if all commissioners take this up. This will generate about £84m in Nottinghamshire.

Mrs Henry is proposing a 4.1 per cent precept increase for the 2022-23 financial year, meaning a £9.99 rise for Band D properties.

Caroline Henry, Nottinghamshire police and crime commissioner.

She said the additional funding will be spent on reducing serious violence and knife crime, violence against women and girls, neighbourhood crimes and exploitation.

Nottinghamshire Police also want to expand their digital capacity, so the force can ‘better understand and respond to issues of greatest community concern’.

Investments include 45 new officers this year as part of the government’s uplift programme, including nine working in modern slavery and county lines anti-drug operations.

A total of 24 officers will also be based in Operation Reacher teams, disrupting drug dealers across the county.

Mrs Henry said the precept rise will ‘allow Nottinghamshire to meet its budget pressures’.

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Last year, Mrs Henry’s ran a police and crime survey asking 4,311 residents about the precept for policing.

Of the 40.7 percent of respondents that did not support an increase in the precept, the majority, 83.3 per cent, cited personal economic circumstances as the reason.

One view stated: “It is a poor time to be asking people for more money, the cost of living has gone up, while household incomes haven’t, and in plenty of cases, they have gone down.”

Mrs Henry said Nottinghamshire Police is ‘heavily dependent’ on government grant funding, with two thirds of its funding from this source.

For 2022-23, the proposed level of expenditure after income and specific grants is £247.7m, up 6.2 per cent on 2020-21’s £253.2m.

Mrs Henry said: “Despite Covid and the huge impact on the Government’s finances, the grant settlement was better than expected.

“However, the issue going forward is that core grant and Council Tax increases are unlikely to cover all spending pressures.

“Looking forward, the five-year medium term financial strategy for 2022-27 currently forecasts a total budget gap of £12.1m.”

Councillors on Nottinghamshire police and crime panel are required to make a decision in respect of the precept report and proposed increase.

Proposed rises to households are: Band A – £162.84 to £169.50; Band B – £189.98 to £197.75; Band C – £217.12 to £226.00; Band D – £244.26 to £254.25; Band E – £298.54 to £310.75; Band F – £352.82 to £367.25; Band G – £407.10 to £423.75; and Band H – £488.52 to £508.50.

Conservative-led Nottinghamshire Council has announced plans to raise its share of council tax – which makes up about 70 per cent of the total bill – by 4 per cent, while Labour-controlled Mansfield Council has announced a freeze on its share. Neighbouring Ashfield has not yet revealed its intentions, although Coun Jason Zadrozny, council leader, has been critical of the county council’s plans to raise its precept.

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