PLANS to increase council tax in Hampshire by £5 a year have been given the green light.
Hampshire police and crime commissioner Michael Lane won backing today for his plan to increase the policing precept to boost police funds by £3.3m.
It comes as the commissioner, and chief constable Olivia Pinkney, argue the force receives around £45m less from central government than it should.
Today at a meeting of the Police and Crime Panel in Winchester, councillors approved the 3.12 per cent precept increase, which is equivalent to £5 a year for a band D home.
Mr Lane said: 'I am delighted that a significant number of people listened to why we needed to increase the policing precept by £5 and were agreement with it, and I would like to thank everyone who responded to my consultation.
'This precept decision for 2017/18 takes into account both the immediate and medium term resourcing requirements that enable Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, Southampton and Portsmouth to be safer now and in the future.
'This £5 increase puts us in a stronger position to meet the immediate risks and continue to respond to the ever increasing complexity of crime.
'However, even with this, and any possible future increases in council tax, it is estimated that if national government funding for policing continues to be worked out in a way that is unfair we will be facing a funding shortfall of £23 million a year by 2021.'
Chairman of Hampshire's Police and Crime Panel, Cllr David Stewart, added : 'The Hampshire Police and Crime Panel has today supported the Police and Crime Commissioner’s proposed increase in the Council Tax precept for 2017/18 – which equates to an extra £5 per year for the average Band D property.
'Through the work of our finance working group, we satisfied ourselves that the precept increase is appropriate to maintain an effective level of policing in Hampshire and the Isle of Wight over the next financial year, whilst at the same time acknowledging the continuing financial pressures.
'The panel is confident that by supporting the PCC’s budget for 2017/18, the people of Hampshire and the Isle of Wight will continue to receive a high quality policing service.”
Around 2,800 residents responded to a consultation asking what level of funding they would be willing to contribute, with 79 per cent saying they would be willing to fund an increase of £5.