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North Yorkshire Police

Watchdog rejects Commissioner’s council tax increase for local policing due to lack of assurance where the extra money would be spent

5 February 2019

The North Yorkshire Police, Fire and Crime Panel has vetoed an increase of over 10 per cent in council tax for policing put forward by the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, Julia Mulligan.

The panel decided today that it needed more detail to arrive at a balanced decision.  The panel felt there was a lack of assurance about where the extra money would be spent, particularly in relation to aspects of local policing.

48 per cent of North Yorkshire Police’s funding and 70 per cent of North Yorkshire Fire and Rescue Service’s funding comes from the precept.

It expressed concern that levels of neighbourhood policing have declined in recent times with a corresponding decline in public confidence.

Members say they were especially disappointed that the Commissioner and police officers gave a presentation to the panel today with new information so that there was little time to take on board the issues and hold the Commissioner to account.  The panel stated it would also welcome more detail about how savings can be made.

Councillor Carl Les, Chair of the panel, said:

Rejecting the Commissioner’s proposal was not a decision taken lightly by the panel and we understand the public’s need to have a more visible policing presence in York and North Yorkshire. But an increase of more than 10 per cent is simply too much to ask people to pay without further information about how aspects of local policing will be improved.

The panel also expressed concerns about the conclusions drawn from the commissioner’s public consultation.

The panel accepts the principle that the precept money would be held in a policing priorities fund and only released by the commissioner on the production of a successful business case.

The panel has a reserve date for the panel to consider a revised precept proposal on 21 Feb 2019.

The panel gave its approval to an increase for 2019/20 for the fire and rescue service of £2.07 (2.99%) for a Band D property.

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