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Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore wants your views on council tax increase

PUBLISHED: 09:26 27 December 2017

Gareth Wilson with Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore. Picture: Courtesy of Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner.

Gareth Wilson with Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner Tim Passmore. Picture: Courtesy of Suffolk Police and Crime Commissioner.

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People in Suffolk are being asked whether they would be prepared to pay more towards the police service 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 popular in Suffolk – whether they would be prepared to pay an extra £9.31 a year for policing.

With the government changing the rules about council tax rises in a bid to ease restrictions on local authorities and police across the country, it means instead of a two per cent cap on increases, Suffolk Police will this year be able to increase its element of council tax bills by nearly 6.8pc if the PCC wishes. But 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 2pc 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.

“On December 19 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 2pc and the 6.8pc precept increase. The Chief Constable had told Mr Passmore 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 runs until January 10. Visit www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/SPCCpreceptsurvey

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