Legislation requires that the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) agrees their budget and associated precept and basic council tax for the forthcoming year before 1st March each year.
However before doing so the PCC must notify the relevant Police and Crime Panel, by the 31st January, of the precept which they propose to issue for the following financial year.
The PCC has been informed by the Government that ‘Total central Government resource funding to policing, including funding for counter terrorism, will be reduced by 1.3% in real terms over four years.
Taking into account the scope that you have to raise local council tax, this means a flat real settlement for policing as a whole.’
This is very important because it means that any policing area which decides to freeze the local policing precept will in reality have its funding cut.
And that ‘You should plan on the basis that the overall referendum limit for police precept will be maintained at 2% over the Spending review period for Police and Crime Commissioners in England.’
The current financial plans of the organisation for 2016/17 included a planning assumption of an increase in precept of 1.99%.
This would provide just over £0.6m of recurring funding to spend on Policing and Crime above the option of a precept freeze.
Additional context arising from the Commissioner’s consultation and engagement programme, including consultation on the precept, will be available for discussion with the Panel.