Police and Crime Commissioner Simon Foster is seeking residents’ views on the important matters facing policing, as he launches his annual consultation on the budget for West Midlands Police.
The PCC is responsible for setting the budget for West Midlands Police, which receives the majority of its funding from central government grant and also through a precept on council tax. Part of the PCC’s role is to set the precept for council tax, which is allocated to the police.
The PCC is now asking for the views of the public on their main priorities, when it comes to policing the region.
He is also consulting on the public’s views on a government announcement that would enable an increase to council tax, by up to £13 per year (for a Council Tax Band D property) – £1.08 per month.
Sadly, without that increase, West Midlands Police would be forced into making further cuts, with a £27.7 million hole in the budget. The average £13.00 per year increase in council tax, will raise £9.2 million, towards meeting the budget challenge.
The extra money will go directly towards preventing, tackling and reducing crime to keep people, families, businesses and communities safe and secure.
The West Midlands Police Precept is currently one of the lowest in the country at £202.55 (for a band D) and remains £58 cheaper than the next Force in the region. By comparison Warwickshire Police currently has a council tax precept of £276.71 per year, Staffordshire Police has a precept of £260.57 and West Mercia Police’s precept is £264.50.
An increase of £13 for the year 2024/25, would mean that West Midlands Police could continue to meet its costs and provide services, although the budget will remain under pressure.
Most properties in the West Midlands are in band A and B and the cost would be less than that – under a pound a month extra (see table below), working out at £143.70 per year (band A) and £167.65 per year (band B).
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, said he is committed to rebuilding community policing. This small rise in the police precept will support those plans.
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner, Simon Foster, said: “I appreciate any kind of rise is not what people want to hear in the middle of a cost of living crisis.
“Deciding on the precept level is always a challenging process, particularly in recent years where I have had to strike a balance between unprecedented financial challenges and ensuring an appropriate level of policing service that our communities expect.
“When I was elected, I said I would rebuild community policing, and that is the job that I am getting on with. People told me that they wanted to see more police officers out on their streets. We need preventative, proactive, problem solving and visible police officers to keep people, families, businesses and communities safe and secure.
“I would encourage everybody in the West Midlands, if you work, live or study in the region to respond to this consultation.”
You can take part in the consultation by clicking here.
|Council tax band
|PROPOSED precept amount