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Issue:- Saturday, 5 December 2015

Headlines and reports on this page = 3 news items.    Page - 7.

How much are you willing to pay for your Police?

LANCASHIRE'S Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw has launched the latest phase of his consultation on the Council Tax precept asking residents how much they are willing to pay towards Police.

Clive Grunshaw is encouraging residents to have their say responding to a survey on his website, or on leaflets available from libraries and town halls across the County.

He said:- "Every year one of my responsibilities is to set the Council Tax precept. This is the amount of money that householders pay towards Policing in the County.  Most of the money to pay for the Police comes from Government, but around a quarter comes from Council Tax. The Government has continued to reduce the amount it gives us towards Policing and residents have generously supported a small increase in funding of around 6p per week (for a band D household) for the last 2 years. It may seem like a very small amount, but a 2% increase will actually raise £1.3m and will help safeguard the equivalent of 28 Police Officers or 40 Police and community support Officers in 2016."

The Commissioner said that despite Government announcing the Police budget nationally had been frozen for the next few years, Lancashire was still facing cuts to the level of funding it received to fund Policing locally.

He said:- "The Government announced a freeze to Police funding in its comprehensive spending review last month, however this doesn't mean our force budget is frozen or protected. The "freeze" depends on increases in Council Tax for all areas around the country. In addition investment in firearms units and counter terrorism nationally will come from the overall budget. This means we will receive less in Lancashire over the course of the next few years to provide our local Policing services.  We have saved or identified £74m of savings so far, and this has impacted on officer numbers which by 2017 will have reduced by 900 with another 700 Police staff roles lost too. When more than 80% of the money the force spends is on staff then it is somewhat inevitable that the workforce will need to reduce to save costs.  What an increase in Council Tax of around 2% will do is maintain a number of roles that would otherwise be lost.  I want everyone to have their say; so I am urging people to share the survey on their social media feeds with friends and family members who live in Lancashire.  In order to ensure we get a representative sample of opinions we also undertake market research polling 100 people in each of our 14 district areas asking them the same questions. This is an approved technique that ensures we get a true picture of the opinions of Lancashire people."

To have your say log on to:- Lancashire-PCC.Gov.UK/HowMuchSurvey or follow the Commissioner on Twitter or Facebook @LancsPCC.

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