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Tax hike to pay for Gloucestershire Police agreed

By jrmaidment  |  Posted: February 06, 2013

Comments (11)

TAXPAYERS will have to fork out a little bit extra to pay for police in Gloucestershire after a precept increase of two per cent was agreed today.

The Police and Crime Panel decided to support the Police and Crime Commissioner Martin Surl's proposed budget which included the tax hike.

The increase will generate an additional £900,000 of income for the police each year – such a sum is enough to pay for 30 police officers.

It means the average taxpayer will have to contribute an extra £3.99 to the police through their council tax bill each year.

Martin Surl told the meeting at Shire Hall: "I believe that with sensible planning we can make sound investments and help us achieve my aim of a safer Gloucestershire.

"It is my policy to invest to save because if we don't I think we will incur greater costs in the future.

"The good news is that the constabulary is in a sound financial state and that is because of the hard work that was carried out before I took office and based on a two per cent increase the force will have a balanced budget moving forward."

Speaking after the decision was made, Councillor Brian Calway, the chair of the Police and Crime Panel, said: "The panel deliberated at great length because we have to acknowledge that the effect on the public purse needs to be very carefully considered.

"The panel eventually decided to support the two per cent increase subject to the recommendations put forward."

The Panel asked that in future there be increased communication from the Police and Crime Commissioner's office so they are better informed of Mr Surl's plans.

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11 comments

  • Shireresident  |  February 07 2013, 10:14AM

    Interesting how Mr. Surls' ego trip is already beginning to unravel. I think the comment about communicating with the police panel in future is significant, sounds like he treated them as a rubber stamp which of course he can do as he's solely responsible for his actions. I ask myself is this entire unasked for set up a recipe for disaster. I'm not terribly happy that the future of policeing in the county is entirely in the hands of one untried person. I'm afraid David Camerons' addiction to American style policeing will not serve us well in the long term.

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  • IsitJimKerr  |  February 07 2013, 9:39AM

    So looking at all the comments here, no-one agrees with the rise, or if they do, they want to know the names of the 30 new officers. Mr Surl, you have failed your first initiative test, and that was to agree with what you said in your manifesto, a document which I specifically read, and voted for you accordingly. This will be on-going now, and all we will see is newer BMW's in the car park.

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  • spindles12  |  February 07 2013, 9:24AM

    by Dave_t10Thursday, February 07 2013, 12:42AM "@spindles12 I think you have your sums quite wrong, £900,000 nowhere near pays for 30 Officers. It's not me who has the sums wrong, it's the figure quoted in the article. Actually, according to a BBC News report dated 15th January 2013 the starting pay is going down! QUOTE: The BBC's home affairs correspondent Tom Symonds said the starting salary would be £19,000 for recruits with no policing experience but £22,000 for more experienced officers, such as those who had worked as special constables or PCSOs" Of course, the salary only applies to new recruits but recruiting has been halted by a lot of police forces and it wouldn't lower the pay of officers already in the force. Also "A special bonus - known as a competence-related threshold payment (CRTP) - will also be phased out over the next three years. The CRTP - which is worth £1,200 a year - was first mooted for scrapping by the Winsor report in 2011" Want to know what CRTP is? "The scheme is designed to recognise and reward experienced officers who are able to demonstrate high professional competence under each of the four Police Negotiating Board national performance standards, which are: professional competencies and results; commitment to the job; relations with the public and colleagues; and a willingness to learn and adjust to new circumstances" In other words, they get extra pay for doing what they're paid to do anyway! Maybe the extra money is being used to top up the lost CRTP or other perks that have been axed. I still want to know what the money is going to be spent on.

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  • Dave_t10  |  February 07 2013, 12:42AM

    @spindles12 I think you have your sums quite wrong, £900,000 nowhere near pays for 30 Officers. You basic Constable is on around 30-36k alone, this is before you factor in employers tax, NI, and pension costs. The average cost is around the £45k mark, make it 20 Constables that you can afford for £900,000 - not forgetting this doesn't include costs such as uniform, training and so on. --------------------------- So if they are putting bills up by 2%, a band D (average?) property is currently fleeced for the sum of £1,477.31 annually. A 2% increase of this is £29.55 so if the Police are only getting an average of £3.99 there is something seriously wrong Where is the remainder of the increase going? To the council no doubt! I think this is terrible, they are increasing the bills against the will of our government under the pretence of needing to increase the Police funding, yes they are doing this whilst also feathering their own nests at 7 times the size. If they need extra Police funding, then why not raise the bill by the extra 0.003% that this £3.99 equates to rather than 2%?

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  • spindles12  |  February 06 2013, 10:36PM

    QUOTE "The increase will generate an additional £900,000 of income for the police each year – such a sum is enough to pay for 30 police officers" I bet it doesn't go towards paying for 30 more police officers though. QUOTE: Martin Surl told the meeting at Shire Hall: "I believe that with sensible planning we can make sound investments and help us achieve my aim of a safer Gloucestershire. "It is my policy to invest to save because if we don't I think we will incur greater costs in the future. Sound investments, Invest to save, what the heck does all that mean? Is he going to spend the money or what? We might feel more acceptable of the increase if we knew what he intended doing with the money. It's all well and good coming out with woolly phrases but tell us EXACTLY what this money will be spent on Mr Surl.

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  • safeandnice  |  February 06 2013, 10:33PM

    Everything and everyone else is being squeezed, we didn't need a rise in rates

  • MrGarnet  |  February 06 2013, 10:01PM

    We will be looking for improvements Mr Surl. I hope the police can do as they are doing a difficult job these days.

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  • Bonkim2003  |  February 06 2013, 7:43PM

    This was totally unnecessary - not many bothered to vote for the Commissioner.

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  • tishwash  |  February 06 2013, 6:51PM

    Can they prove it goes to the police and not the council ?

  • nickthompson  |  February 06 2013, 6:10PM

    £3.99 a year well spent,when I consider a Packet of cigatettes costs me a fraction under £8.

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