Hints of future tax rise by Northamptonshire's police commissioner

Stephen Mold says he will discuss with Chief Constable Simon Edens whether to raise the force's portion of council tax
Stephen Mold says he will discuss with Chief Constable Simon Edens whether to raise the force's portion of council tax

Stephen Mold, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire, has welcomed the announcement that police will be able raise more cash through local taxation.

It was announced in parliament that no police force will get an increase in general funds in 2018/19.

But some will get extra to deal with potential terrorism and public protection in 2018/19 . And commissioners have now been given more flexibility to raise funds locally following an increase in the amount they can raise through the council tax precept.

Mr Mold said no decision had been taken on a tax increase - to join likely increases by the Guildhall and County Hall - but implied it was a strong possibility.

He said: "“Over the next few weeks, I will work closely with the Chief Constable to discuss the future priorities for the Force, how we can best meet demands, and manage the increasing year on year costs to run the Force, as well as pay for any future police pay rises from our existing budget.

“We may conclude that a rise in the council tax precept is necessary, but this has not yet been decided. However, the people of Northamptonshire can be sure that we will spend every penny we receive as wisely as possible.”

Although the average Northamptonian may not think so, Mr Mold says it is a positive sign that Whitehall is starting to take note of budget concerns within policing raised by him and other PCCs.

Mr Mold, said: “I recognise that there is only a finite amount available from central funds, and although I’m not completely satisfied with our budget allocation, I do welcome the extra flexibility we’ve been given locally for the option to increase the money raised through the council tax precept, which we didn’t have before.

“Although we’ve been advised of the police grant for 2018/19, I am now looking forward to a conclusion of the fairer funding formula review too. I am very hopeful this will yield a better outcome for Northamptonshire in the long term. We currently get a raw deal for money per head of population in comparison to other police forces of a similar size – who receive more cash per person than we do. This definitely needs to be looked at.