Banburyshire police commissioners welcome funding changes through council tax hike

PCC Anthony Stansfeld is seeking views on the tax increase proposals
PCC Anthony Stansfeld is seeking views on the tax increase proposals

More money could be made available for police forces across Banburyshire but only if council tax is increased.

The government has given police and crime commissioners (PCC) greater flexibility to raise tax precepts by £12 for an average band D property.

Thames Valley PCC Anthony Stansfeld said he ‘reluctantly’ planned to raise his share after a consultation.

Warwickshire’s and Northamptonshire’s said they would wait to see what the public said.

Mr Stansfield said: “Whilst we welcome this opportunity to increase our funding, I do remain concerned as to whether there will be sufficient funding to meet increases in demand in policing in the future and I look forward to the conclusion of the work on a fairer funding formula ahead of the Government’s next spending review.”

The government’s grant support for police forces in England and Wales remains the same for 2018-19, but the council tax changes would raise £270m nationally.

Mr Stansfield said policing has faced an unprecedented rise in demand while Thames Valley Police’s budget has reduced by £100m in the past seven years.

Northamptonshire PCC Stephen Mold welcomed the changes but said the county gets a ‘raw deal’ in funding and hoped it would become fairer.

“We may conclude that a rise in the council tax precept is necessary, but this has not yet been decided,” he said.

“However, the people of Northamptonshire can be sure that we will spend every penny we receive as wisely as possible.”

Warwickshire PCC Philip Seccombe said the funding is fair but extra money will help modernise the county’s police force.