Approval given to three per cent rise in policing precept

Simon Hayes, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Police and Crime Commisssioner.

Simon Hayes, Hampshire and the Isle of Wight Police and Crime Commisssioner.

David Sanderson

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A THREE per cent hike in the policing element of council tax contributions in Hampshire has been approved.

Hampshire police and crime commissioner Simon Hayes had proposed the rise as the force battles to save an extra £25m by April 2017.

This means the average householder living in a band D property is set to pay an extra £4.54 a year - nine pence a week - for policing.

It brings the total contribution for policing for band D householders to £155.79 from April.

But despite some members’ concerns the police and crime panel, which holds Mr Hayes to account, 17 members voted in favour of the proposal.

One member voted against it and one abstained.

Addressing the panel, Mr Hayes said the increase would help the force deliver a quality service at an affordable level.

He added: ‘I’m not naive around the issues of these proposals and the political sensitivity attached to increasing the precept by three per cent, but this is at my political risk, not your political risk.

‘I’m the one who is accountable to the public.’

However the vote was taken before Home Secretary Theresa May has set a referendum limit.

If a central government decision is made to set the limit for increasing police precepts at a lower rate, it was agreed by panel members that the rise would be reduced in-line with that limit.

This rise comes on top of a three per cent precept increase last year.

Cuts mean the force is set to receive £41m less in the next financial year compared to four years ago.

The force will already have saved £54m by April.

But last year Chief Constable Andy Marsh revealed plans for a radical overhaul of the force operates in a bid to save more cash.

Mr Marsh has said this could lead to further job losses.

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