Save Police Officers Jobs Call(January 22, 2018)
A Warminster town councillor is backing a proposed increase in the policing part of council tax during a consultation that closes on the last day of January.
The Police and Crime Commissioner for Wiltshire and Swindon, Angus Macpherson, has tabled a proposal to increase the policing precept in April.
Warminster residents are being asked to find by a pound a month for the average band D household.
"I believe we should support this move as the police in my experience as a town councillor have very good in support of our requests for action on our estates and in particular the town park," says Cllr. Paul Macdonald.
"In fact I would have supported an extra £2 each month given the value for money this represents when compared with how Wiltshire Council spends our money."
Currently the average band D household contributes £14.19 per month to local policing, but if residents back the proposal then this would rise to £15.19 per month.
“As a Force, Wiltshire Police has seen the second highest change in the country in emergency incidents when comparing 2015/16 with 2016/17," Angus Macpherson explained.
"Yet the funding we receive from central government doesn’t recognise the increasing pressures we face in Wiltshire,”
“In fact we receive the fourth lowest funding per head of population in England and Wales.”
In real terms Wiltshire Police have received £19 million less from central funding over the last seven years still responding to more crimes and supporting more members of the public year on year.
This has left the Police with a funding gap approaching £3m putting jobs and service at risk.
“Whilst we live in an incredibly safe county, there’s only so far the budget will stretch," added the Commissioner.
"We’re streamlining our services to ensure they’re as efficient as possible at the same time as keeping the public safe, but we are feeling the squeeze more than ever.
“That’s why I’m asking whether residents in Wiltshire and Swindon would be prepared to pay an extra £1 a month to help bridge this gap.
“This increase will mean that I can protect frontline services from further reductions and maintain the current level of service.”
*For more information visit www.wiltshire-pcc.gov.uk, you can also email firstname.lastname@example.org or use #AskAngusPCC on social media.