Commissioner asks people
for their views on Police funding
MERSEYSIDE'S Police Commissioner is
asking people if they would be willing to pay a little extra to protect
local Policing. After 6 years of austerity, the Government announced in
December that it would not cut the Police budget any further. However, in
his calculations the Chancellor actually included a 0.6% cut to Merseyside
Police's grant that he assumed would be made up by local people paying more
towards Policing through their Council Tax.
In a letter later sent to Police Commissioners, it was confirmed that they
would be expected to increase the Police precept part of the local Council
Tax in order to maintain the current levels of funding for their Police
This means that if Merseyside's Police Commissioner Jane Kennedy chooses not
to increase the Police precept by 1.95% as anticipated by the Government,
the Police's budget will effectively be cut by 0.6%; the equivalent of
£1.35m. This cut puts at risk about 26 Police officer posts.
Now Jane is asking local people whether they would be willing to contribute
an extra 4p a week on their annual Council Tax bill to make up for the
Government shortfall and make sure she is able to balance the budget.
The proposed increase expected by the Government works out as about £2 a
year extra for a Band A household; the lowest Council Tax category and the
amount paid by the majority of Tax Payers on Merseyside. This would increase
the Police element of Tax Payers' bills from £106.45 to £108.53.
Jane said:- "While the Government's dramatic U-turn on cuts of up to
40% on our Police service came as a huge relief last year, the Chancellor
was only able to say that he was protecting the Police budget by assuming
that local Tax Payers would pay more.
The Chancellor did not consult local people, he just put together the
Police's budget on the expectation that the residents of Merseyside would
make up the difference. This has effectively tied my hands; if I don't
increase the amount of Council Tax collected towards Policing, the Force
will lose out. Merseyside Police has already had its budget cut by more than
£77m over the last 6 years. This has led to the loss of more than 1,600
and staff. This is all in a context of rising crime and major budget cuts to
our community safety partners. We cannot afford to lose any more.
I am therefore asking people if they would be willing to contribute an extra
4p a week to help balance the books against this cut by the government and
protect vital frontline Police services."
In previous years the Government has made grants available to those Police
Commissioners who did not increase their precept, but this now been scrapped
leaving Jane with no choice but to increase the precept if she is to set a
By increasing the precept by 1.95%, the Commissioner can raise enough money
to cover the Government's cut and protect local officer jobs.
People are invited to have their say through an
online survey at
by 1 February 2016. The Commissioner will also be holding a series of road shows,
one in each Local Authority area with two in Liverpool, to ask people for
The Commissioner added:- "I know that everyone is feeling the pinch at
the moment and I don't make this proposal lightly, but unfortunately the
Government is forcing me to ask people for a little more if Merseyside
Police is to maintain the same high level of service the public have come to expect. Looking ahead, we are also facing increases in national insurance, pay and
pensions, all of which make it even more important to keep the budget
Before I make any final decision I want to hear the views of local people."
£5M cash for Councils to
stop rogue landlords
Councils across the Country are to
receive a £5m cash boost to tackle rogue landlords in their area, Housing
Minister Brandon Lewis announced. 48 Councils will share the funding so they
can take on the irresponsible landlords that force tenants to live in
squalid and dangerous properties, making their lives a misery.
The cash will also allow Councils to root out more 'beds in sheds'.
Since 2011 nearly 40,000 inspections have taken place in properties with
over 3,000 landlords facing further enforcement action or prosecution.
The funding will allow local authorities to carry out more raids, increase
inspections of property, issue more statutory notices, survey more streets
and to demolish sheds and prohibited buildings.
Mr Lewis said this funding is part of a package of measures that will
ensure millions of hard working tenants get a better deal when they rent a
home. Significant progress has already been made, now with £11.7 million
distributed to Councils to crack down on rogue landlords. And we have
introduced protection for tenants against retaliatory eviction where they
have a legitimate complaint and stopped landlords from serving an open-ended
eviction notice at the start of a tenancy.
The measures will not hamper the vast majority of landlords who are diligent
Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said:- "Many private rental tenants are
happy with their home and the service they receive, but there are still
rogue landlords that exploit vulnerable people and force their tenants to
live in overcrowded and squalid accommodation.
We are determined to tackle these rogues which is why we are providing 48
Councils with extra funding, so they can get rid of the cowboy operators in
their area and bring an end to tenants living in miserable homes in the name
We also want to raise the quality and choice of rental accommodation across
the sector. The funding will ensure tenants know what level of service they
can expect and have confidence to get help and take action if things go
The poor quality, overcrowded and dangerous accommodation let by rogue
landlords can result in a ripple effect of wider problems in the local
community such as noise problems; sanitation issues for whole roads; greater
fire risk; Council Tax and benefit fraud and anti social behaviour such as
This funding should to tackle rogue landlords is part of an ambitious package of
proposals in the Housing and Planning Bill to ensure that England's 9
million private tenants feel confident to demand better standards and
management of their property by landlords.
Measures in the Bill include:-
► Database of rogue landlords and property agents convicted of certain
► Banning orders for the most serious and prolific offenders.
► Introduction of civil penalties of up to £30, 000 as an alternative to
► Extension of Rent Repayment Orders to cover illegal eviction, breach of a
banning order or failure to comply with a statutory notice.
► More stringent fit and proper person test for landlords of licensable
properties such as Houses in Multiple Occupation.
From 1 February 2016 landlords will have to carry out Right to Rent checks
to ensure potential tenants have the right to rent property in the UK.
Right to rent checks can be done from 28 days before the start of a tenancy
agreement. for more information visit this UK Government