Sir George Young, Conservative MP for North West Hampshire, has written to the Home Secretary asking him to ensure that the Hampshire Police Authority gets the central funding which it needs to carry forward Government policy, and to protect local council tax payers from exorbitant increases.
“In order to carry forward the current policing policies in Hampshire, the budget will go up from £247.6 million to £262.4 million. More than half of this increase is due to the cost of staffing, to police pensions, and to the roll-out of Airwave, the new radio system, all of which are commitments that the police have no option but to fund. If the Home Office give the anticipated increase of 2.5%, this will mean that the council tax increase will be well into double figures – round about 15%.
This is against a background of increases in the police authority element of the local council tax at 29.5% in the current year, and 27.3% last year.
Unless the Home Office increases its funding, the police authority will either have to cut services, or raise the council tax precept by an unacceptable amount. I have therefore written to the Home Secretary, asking for an increase in grant of 5.5%, to match the increase in the budget.”