Why police chief wants to increase council tax

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Clive Grunshaw chose to recommend raising the police element of the council tax by 5p a week after rejecting the offer of a one-off 1% government grant for freezing the policing precept.

He said: “We have the sixth lowest precept of any shire area and our funding problems remain acute.

“I believe acceptance of the Government grant would hurt the service in the long term by storing up greater financial pressures on to what is already a difficult budget and could potentially result in future reductions in the police service.“

Lancashire Constabulary is in the middle of a major cost-cutting programme with £31m already cut and more cuts in the pipeline.

The proposed force budget for 2013/14 includes £6m cuts, a further £3m saving is planned. But a further £20m cuts will be needed over the next three financial years. Mr Grunshaw said: “I want to ensure Lancashire Constabulary remains resilient in the current financial climate and to enable 50 police officers to be recruited to maintain frontline policing numbers.”

“My proposed budget for 2013/14 is realistic and prudent and that approach, combined with the efficiency programme, is designed to help the constabulary maintain the impressive level of service provided to our local communities.”

He claimed consultation across Lancashire on the budget showed 82 per cent of respondents were willing to pay more than the required £3.75 needed to maintain current service levels and continued delivery of visible policing services was a priority.

Mr Grunshaw added: “This Government fought to introduce locally elected Police and Crime Commissioners and is at the same time trying to stop them from doing what local people want.”