Police and Crime Commissioner could increase council tax in Northamptonshire to raise extra Â£2.9m for force
Northamptonshire's Police and Crime Commissioner has launched a consultation to ask residents if they would be willing to pay more in council tax to support policing and fire services in the county.
The Government has given all police and crime commissioners the power to up the policing part of council tax by an extra Â£1 a month (Â£12 a year) in 2019/20, which would give Northamptonshire Police an extra Â£2.9 million if the increase was put into effect.
Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service currently costs Â£1.13 a week to the average household (Â£59 a year for a Band D property) and an increase of Â£2 per year in line with current powers would bring an extra Â£0.4 million for the service in 2019/20.
Stephen Mold is responsible for setting the force and fire budgets and determining the precept – the part of council tax that goes towards policing.
In January 2019, Mr Mold will take over the governance of Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue Service, so the consultation also asks people for their views on the amount they pay towards their fire and rescue service.
"I have given the force an extra Â£8 million to invest this year in areas where the previous Chief Constable asked for support to deliver operational policing and invest in the frontline and in priority areas such as domestic abuse and rape investigation," said Mr Mold.
"Now I would like to know what people think about the council tax that they pay to the police and fire service and whether they are prepared to pay more to support those services.
"I will continue to work with the Chief Constable and Chief Fire Officer to discuss our priorities for the coming year and how we can provide the services that people in Northamptonshire expect and deserve.
"Those conversations and the feedback I receive through this consultation will inform my decision on the level of council tax precept that is needed next year."
The average household in Northamptonshire currently pays Â£4.25 a week towards policing (Â£221.04 a year for a Band D property).
The results of the consultation that has now been launched will help inform the Commissioner when he sets the budgets for both Northamptonshire Police and Northamptonshire Fire and Rescue and decides on the level of council tax precept for 2019/20.
The survey, which closes on December 7, is quick and simple to fill in and can be found at http://www.northantsp.cc/northantscounciltax