Council Tax Consultation for 2018-2019
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A Message from Peter McCall, Police and Crime Commissioner for Cumbria

I want to boost the number of officers on the beat in your local communities.

The Government has recently granted Police and Crime Commissioners greater flexibility to protect the service that the police provide by raising the maximum amount by which council tax can be increased in 2018-19 to £11.97 per year for a band D or £9.31 for a band B property.  

The increased freedom to raise local funding recognises that policing as a service has been under funded, demand for service is rising and that central government is unable to provide more cash to address the problem.  This is a real opportunity to help secure the future of policing in the county.  Without an increase in council tax there would be a real terms cut to police funding in Cumbria and an adverse impact on officer numbers in the longer-term.

As the Police and Crime Commissioner for Cumbria I have a difficult choice to make.  I know that increasing council tax is never popular, but your safety and security are more important to me.   My commitment to you is to maintain an effective policing service and to ‘keep you safe’. It is clear to me that rising demand and emerging threats such as terrorism, online-crime and addressing your local concerns such as anti-social behaviour are becoming ever more complex to combat and are increasingly stretching the force’s resources.

None of us likes to pay more but I believe that the right thing to do is to invest now in front line policing for Cumbria, however, I have to balance this against the impact on hard pressed household budgets.  

After careful consideration and on the recommendation of the Chief Constable, I am proposing to raise the council tax level by a £1 a month. In Cumbria, the largest number of properties fall into band B which would pay an additional 78p a month (slightly more than one 1st class stamp or a small loaf of bread).

I believe that if the public are to pay more, it is only fair to ensure that the police deliver an improved service in return. The additional council tax will therefore contribute to funding: 
  1. 25 additional police officers visible and present in your local community tackling the issues that are important to you including anti-social behaviour and road safety.
     
  2. 95 PCSOs guaranteeing the delivery of a strong pro-active visible presence in your community.
     
  3. An increase in the number of armed officers available to protect and respond to any potential terror threat or dangerous individuals in Cumbria.
     
  4. Improved protection of our children from abuse especially online grooming and exploitation and greater protection for us all from new digital crime trends such as online crime and fraud.
     
  5. Easier and better ways to contact the police.
Through this consultation I am seeking your support and asking that we together make a really important contribution to protect you and above all to keep us all safe.
 
I would therefore urge you to take just a few minutes to take part in this very short survey.
 
Many thanks.

Peter McCall
Police and Crime Commissioner

Please click on 'Next Page' below to complete the survey.