COUNCIL TAX PRECEPT INFORMATION 2017/18

There have been a number of challenging years for Lancashire Police and the coming year promises more of the same. Despite promises of ‘protected’ budgets, Lancashire continues to receive less and less each year from government for policing.

However, through effective financial planning and management of a balanced reserve policy we will continue to see investment having a positive impact o policing. More new recruits will be coming through to the front-line including dedicated Early Action officers as the Constabulary continues its preventative approach.

In the face of continuing budget challenges the police are also managing unprecedented levels of demand for services as our partners continue to face tighter budgets. We will continue the strategic approach to aligning service to this demand which will see more resources directed to the Contact Management Centre.

 

Once again Lancashire Constabulary have been consistently good reports from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) including on value for money, relationships with the public and those they work with and their effectiveness at detecting and preventing crime.

My new Police and Crime in plan is in place following extensive consultation and engagement across the county, making sure residents’ priorities are well reflected in the way our county is policed. This budget will be managed to ensure we have the right resources in the right place in what continue to be challenging times.

Financial Picture

So as we enter 2017/18 we have identified £78.7m of annual savings that will take us to the end of 2019/20 with an extra £13.4m a year still to find.

I have taken the decision to increase the council tax precept this year by 1.99% after more than 75 per cent of residents told me they were willing to pay more for the police through this local payment.

The Government have been very clear with Police and Crime Commissioners across the country – without utilising the maximum precept increase available to them, their police force’s budget will fall. The support residents have shown for this increase will off-set those reductions here in Lancashire.

The increase is equivalent to just 6p per week – or £3.16 a year – for the average band D property in Lancashire, but it will raise an extra £1.4m to help offset some – but by no means all – of the cuts we will face this year. We still face a further reduction in our staffing and officer numbers which by the end of this year will be down by 1,600 since austerity began.

Keeping residents safe

When I was elected, I promised to be the voice of the public in policing. In developing the new Police and Crime Plan for Lancashire and throughout my time in office I have carried out regular consultations and asked residents about what is important to them. The same key themes continue to emerge and I have kept the in mind at all times during the budget setting process. I promised you that:

  • Residents will be kept safe round the clock. If they need to call the police, their call will be answered and they officers will respond proportionately and appropriately to the situation.
  • Crimes will continue to be investigated proportionately, prioritising crimes that have the biggest impact on victims and are seen as important in terms of priorities for the public of Lancashire.
  • Local policing teams will continue to cover every inch of Lancashire. The public will know how to get in touch with their local teams and local teams will know their local area.
  • Partnership working will continue to be enhanced where possible to reduce harm and to protect the most vulnerable.
  • Citizens in Policing and the Specials will involve more people in community safety and improving their local areas.
  • Resources will be allocated to serious crimes such as child protection, counter-terrorism, CSE and organised crime, which sometimes can be perceived as the unseen aspects of policing.
BUDGET ANALYSIS £m
2016/17 budget requirement 266.162
Add: provision for inflation 2.777
Add: additional demand pressures 3.496
Add: provision for investment reserve 1.074
Less: budget adjustments -3.848
Less: savings -3.892
Less: additional specific grant funding -4.122
2017/18 budget requirement 261.647

 

By 2020 we will have made £92m in annual savings since 2010/11. That means the budget for policing Lancashire will be almost £100m a year lower by 2020 than it was ten years earlier.

EXPENDITURE AND INCOME 2016/17 (£m) 2017/18 (£m) 2017/18 per head (£)
Gross revenue expenditure 281.98 282.11 191.65
Less: income -20.46 -20.46 -13.90
Net budget requirement 261.52 261.65 177.75
Less: central Government  funding 192.54 190.02 129.09
Less: collection fund surplus 1.20 1.30 0.89
Council tax requirement 67.79 70.32 47.77
Band D equivalent (£) 162.22 165.45