Have a say on police fund plan

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Wigan residents have another week to have their say on proposals to increase the police precept on council tax bills.

Police commissioner Tony Lloyd says the move is necessary given the huge budget cuts facing Greater Manchester Police as a result of Government policy.

The proposal would see tax bills rise by £5 for an average household.

Mr Lloyd said: “Keeping our streets and homes safe throughout the year in the face of shrinking funds continues to be a challenge for policing in your area.

“The Government’s failure once again to safeguard policing budgets and invest in community safety means GMP needs to find at least £22m of savings over the next 12 months.

“The Prime Minister is not putting money where her mouth is.

“This means that I’m left with no choice but to reluctantly ask local people to contribute a bit extra - £5 a year.

I’m asking for your support on this proposal so we can help maintain a strong, effective police service. Without it we will have to cut more from frontline policing.”

Since 2010, £180m has been axed from GMP’s budget and there are 2,000 fewer officers patrolling our streets.

But crime continues to rise, with officers dealing with more complex and challenging issues such as child sexual exploitation, domestic abuse and cybercrime.

Cuts to other public services also add additional pressure.

The proposal would see the police element of the average council tax bill rise from £157.30 to £162.30 – which is still amongst the lowest in the country – raising £3.5m for local policing. This is equal to maintaining 70 officers on our streets, the commissioner’s office said.

The consultation closes on Friday January 20. To have your say visit www.gmpcc.org.uk/counciltax.