The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) must agree the budget, associated precept and basic Council Tax for the following year before 1 March.
However, before doing so, the PCC must notify the relevant members of the Police and Crime Panel of the proposed precept. He must do this by 31 January.
The Police Settlement for 2022/23 has provided the PCC with an increase in Government Funding of £4.4m or 4.1%.
This includes a ring-fenced grant of £1,619k to cover an increase in police officers. It also includes the loss of a one-off increase in Local Council Tax Support Grant of £1,395k.
Taking into account all of the projected changes in income, the overall forecast increase in income is expected to be £5.7m.
This money needs to cover unavoidable increases in pay of £6.5m in 2022/23. This amount includes funding pay for 96 Police Officers as part of the Police Officer Uplift programme. In addition, it will cover the cost of in excess of £1m of non-pay inflation.
Shortfall in income
Before the precept is even taken into account, this takes overall costs pressures to £7.5m versus £5.7m of income.
Each £1 increase in Cleveland’s precept provides almost £160k of additional precept income on a recurring basis.
As a result, nearly £1.6m per year of additional income would be generated if the precept was increased by the maximum allowed.
The PCC, therefore, proposes a precept increase of £10. This will provide sufficient funding to deliver increased levels of police officers, as required by the Government, and cover expected increases in pay.
In addition, it will cover an unavoidable increase in National Insurance contributions while also meeting significant increases in non-pay inflation.
The organisational need for this increase, aligned with some significant support from the public for a £10 increase, at 71%, being the rationale for the proposal.
Cleveland Police and Crime Panel