Hampshire’s police chief calls for rise in council tax precept

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HAMPSHIRE’S Chief Constable is calling for a rise in council tax for policing as the force battles spending cuts of up to £53m.

Alex Marshall has written to Hampshire Police Authority chairwoman Cllr Jacqui Rayment and finance committee chairman Cllr Adrian Collett outlining the force’s financial position ahead of a key decision-making meeting.

Mr Marshall is recommending that the authority – which holds the purse strings for policing – raises the council tax precept for policing by 3.25 per cent from April.

This would mean the average person living in a band D property would pay £151 for policing – an extra £4.75 a year.

The extra cash would fund 100 police officers.

But increasing the precept would mean rejecting a one-off government of £3.094m which would be awarded if council tax was frozen.

Mr Marshall’s recommendation is backed by Hampshire Police Federation chairman John Apter who has also written to Cllr Rayment and Cllr Collett voicing his concerns.

The authority’s finance committee has backed the rise, but a final decision will be made at a full Hampshire Police Authority meeting on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service has frozen its council tax precept for the next financial year.

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