Have your say on proposed increase for policing precept


Cheshire's police and crime commissioner is asking residents and businesses for their views on how much council tax they pay towards local policing.

PCC David Keane has today (Tuesday 7th January) launched an online consultation to ask local people if they would be willing to support up to a maximum of £2 per month increase in the policing precept for the average band D household.

He said: "Over the last decade police funding has been subject to stringent funding cuts from central Government.This has seen the policing budget in Cheshire decrease in real-terms year-on-year since 2010. In a decade where demand on policing has increased by one third, and become increasingly complex, the government's programme of austerity has meant that Cheshire has suffered a big decrease in police officers, support staff posts and other essential resources as we've struggled with more than £60 million of real term cuts.

"Whilst imposing cuts nationally, central government has dictated the shift of the funding burden onto local residents, requiring commissioners to consult on raising the policing element of council tax. Whilst I believe that policing should be funded from government as the first responsibility of the state is keeping its people safe, I promised to protect our public and our public services and to carefully listen to the views of local residents.

"Historically, this annual consultation is set around the government's Provisional Police Funding Settlement which local police services usually receive in December. Due to the late general election in 2019, police services are yet to receive their Provisional Funding Settlement for 2020/21 so we have to work on an assumption of the continuance of a flat-cash settlement from Government with no additional funding to support additional demand or to cover pay and price inflation. The chief constable has advised me to consult with Cheshire residents on a precept that enables him to deliver a police service which keeps our communities safe.

"At £200.44, the police element of band D council tax in Cheshire is currently the ninth lowest in the country. And thanks to the support of local residents in last year's policing precept, we have delivered on our promise of locally recruiting 43 officers in the last nine months.

"We are also expecting to see some of the police officer posts, of the circa 21,000 that have been lost over the last decade, start to be replaced by the government funded national uplift programme. Cheshire are expecting to see 30 of these officers this year which will start to help us reverse the effects of austerity on policing but while these officers may be funded, there appears no protection for the current budget and for current officer numbers in Cheshire to be maintained.

"Therefore, the chief constable and I are asking residents and businesses in Cheshire if they are willing to support up to an extra £2 per month increase for the average band D household. This will enable the chief constable to invest in a number of areas which are operational threats for Cheshire Police including county lines, major crime and modern slavery and human trafficking."

There will also be a number of roadshows held across Cheshire where residents can talk to the commissioner directly about their views on the precept and complete the consultation survey face-to-face.

The nearest public consultation events will take place at Sainsbury's in Macclesfield on Friday 17th January from 10am to 12noon.

Cheshire residents can also give their views by completing a survey on the Cheshire PCC website.

The consultation closes at midnight on Sunday 26 January 2020.

Cheshire Police & Crime Commissioner, Council Tax


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Adrian Scott
Tuesday 7th January 2020 at 5:23 pm
We wouldn't have to be paying more again if this man hadn't cost the Force hundreds of thousands of pounds persecuting Chief Constable Simon Byrne who was totally exonerated. So much so he is now the Chief of the Police Service of Northern Ireland.
Perhaps if we gor rid of the Police and Crime Commissioner in the May elections we could save even more money.
I for one have no faith,or time, for a man who is supposed to hold the Chief Constable to account, but needs to work near home instead of Police HQ
No, to extra money from me until we know more about the force wasted expenditure on Simon Byrne, The local girl taken on in a senior position, and removed after 12 months and not forgetting the chap who does all the work as the No 2 Chief of operations or whatever he is.
Sorry Mr Keane, with your history, no more money.
Alan Brough
Wednesday 8th January 2020 at 10:23 am
I agree entirely with Adrian's comments above.

I would add that, given David Keane's political allegiances, the statement (on the PCC website) justifying his request for increased funding is little more than puerile propaganda.

Boris Johnson's recent landslide election win was based (amongst many other things) on a commitment to put much more money into Policing.

Perhaps Esther McVey could be asked to comment on the void between the PCC's statement and manifesto-ed Government policy?
John Moylan
Wednesday 8th January 2020 at 10:58 am
I also agree with The above comments.

How much money is being spent on the category of fake crimes called hate crimes? use that money to do proper policing before asking for more money from us.

Also, how much is being spent sending police on courses such as Common Purpose? Use that money on preventing and investigating crimes - proper crimes not 1984-like hate crimes and such.

How much is being spent on membership of the new version of ACPO? use that money for the purposes it was taken from us, not to fund this club. And goodness knows what they are plotting when they all get together.

As for Prime Minister Johnson's commitment to employ (what is the figure, 20,000?) more policemen and women, what are they going to be doing because if it's for monitoring hurty speech on the internet, then I don't think they are needed.

And what about the PCSOs - if they do proceed to employ more police then why do we also need these people?
David Hadfield
Wednesday 8th January 2020 at 3:29 pm
I also agree with the above comments.
David Keene has been found to be unreliable and unprofessional.

Yes, I remember the incident when he appointed one of his former colleagues to be his assistant. That didn't work out but it cost the taxpayer a fortune.

I also remember the story of him moving his office from the Crewe Police Headquarters to Warrington … a huge extra cost to be paid by the taxpayer.

His office should be within Police HQ, not 30 miles away, especially when I'm sure he must have daily communication and meetings with his officers.
Graham McLelland
Thursday 9th January 2020 at 4:55 pm
In other parts of the British Isle the local police make a lot of money from speed cameras.Is it not possible that cameras be located on Alderley and Wilmslow By Pass
Jon Williams
Thursday 9th January 2020 at 7:48 pm
Graham - Money from speed camera fines goes to the consolidated fund – the Government's bank account at the Bank of England – for general expenditure rather than directly to the police. It is then distributed by the Department for Transport through grants.
Tony Haluradivth
Thursday 9th January 2020 at 9:28 pm
Agree with all the above except the need for speed cameras. Well Mr Keane I am not happy about paying a penny more unless we get rid of you Sir. You are surplus to requirement and a pointless waste of public money...so let's start with efficiency savings and remove the unecessary bureaucrats.
Chris Jones
Friday 10th January 2020 at 10:33 am
I would rather be taking money back than giving any more.
The online survey is a joke as usual, why not ballot every household on which services residents are prepared to pay more for. Policing certainly won’t be one.
Duncan Herald
Tuesday 14th January 2020 at 1:41 pm
you write that Policing increase is not for you, Do you mean perhaps that you are against a perceived waste of current Policing monies? Would you welcome more bobbies and less admin./management and/or cock-ups?
As to ballots, why not? Perhaps any subject where X% of the local population want a ballot, one has to be held?
As to the gentleman above, being excoriated; you get who you vote for!
Chris Jones
Saturday 18th January 2020 at 9:20 pm
When Cheshire Police don’t employ exceptional candidates but chose those that simply comply, then that’s box ticking and a waste of everybody’s money. When we are paying a 13% increase last year and 12% this, not to mention those before. The best should be expected. I wouldn’t be surprised however to hear that reported crimes has gone down yet again. Try phoning 101 and see how long it takes to speak to somebody.
Let’s have a line up of Cheshire’s finest and see if we think they’ll run a mile from from travellers running riot (like they did last year), or if we think they could tackle any sort of criminal for that matter.
A message to Cheshire Police, Appleby Fair is the first week in June. Expect travellers to be on the move in the few weeks before and after. So get your excuses and hiding places ready.
Chris Jones
Friday 31st January 2020 at 10:43 pm
Sky News
Cheshire fire and rescue , came 3rd in the country for being the most LGBT employer.
I hope they get a trophy for that.
There is an obvious relevance to my previous post.