Simmonds due to be quizzed by panel on budget

Adam Simmonds publishing policing/budget plan at Wootton Hall HQ
Adam Simmonds publishing policing/budget plan at Wootton Hall HQ

Police and Crime Commissioner Adam Simmonds is due to be quizzed by councillors today about his budget.

Mr Simmonds published details of his first budget last week, revealing plans to freeze the police council tax precept, launch the first reservist police force in England and Wales and boost funding for specials.

He is due to appear before the new Police and Crime Panel at 2pm at County Hall, where his plans will be scrutinised.

Police and crime panels have been set up to scrutinise the actions and decisions of each PCC and make sure information is available for the public, enabling them to hold the PCC to account.

Panels can also make reports or recommendations, and have the power to recommend vetoing proposals by the PCCs in certain areas, including the level of the precept.

Launching his budget last week, Mr Simmonds said: “I will not increase the council tax precept, the amount a commissioner can raise from local taxes. I cannot expect hard pressed families to pay more at this time.

“Despite that, the new budget will mean there will be no fewer police officers in Northamptonshire. The current numbers of officers will remain at 1,220. Police budget funding of police community support officers will remain at the same level.

“Additionally, new investment will increase numbers of police cadets across the county, expand numbers of special constables and launch a paid, on-call police reserve of up to 200 people. All of this will add to visible policing, something which local people have told me they want to see.

“And there will be significant investment in aspects of policing which are not so visible, including child protection, anti-terrorism and work to improve the ways victims of crime are treated.

“The budget will see more money earmarked for top public priorities including reducing violent crime, drug related crime, crime prevention and anti-social behaviour.”