Tax rise to put more bobbies on the beat

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A RISE in council tax for Wiganers will help pay for 50 new police officers.

As part of his first spending plan, Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd announced that the “modest increase” will fund more than 200 new staff.

For an average band D household in Greater Manchester, the proposed police precept will be £149.33 in 2013/14, £2.87 a week, resulting in an increase of slightly more than a penny a day.

“The increase will raise an extra £3.3m for GMP, which will also be used to pay for 70 neighbourhood policing staff, 50 investigative assistants and 30 new radio operators.

Mr Lloyd, said: “Every single penny of the extra money raised through the small increase to the policing part of your council tax bill is being used to boost front-line policing. I think the increase of just over a penny a day represents great value.

“Policing is at its best when it is connected to the community it serves. This budget will help maintain that critical link between you and your local policing team.

“It will also show that the police are part of our community with the force doing its part to help tackle long-term unemployment with the creation of 50 new apprentices.

“I’m not going to pretend that everything is rosy - it isn’t. The pace of cuts forced on GMP is unacceptable. I have done everything I can to ensure that we mitigate the impact the cuts have had so far - it’s now the government’s turn to recognise that enough is enough and realise that investing in policing is good for us all.”

Greater Manchester Police has had its budget reduced by 20 per cent for the period 2010-15, resulting in the loss of 3,000 posts, working out at a loss of £10m for the coming year.

Wiganers have avoided another rise to their council tax bills though due to the borough not being part of the Greater Manchester Waste Authority.

GMWA is to impose a 16 per cent increase in the levy paid to it by town halls over the next two years. For average households, the rise will add £42 a year, but Wigan Council provides its own services so the borough will be exempt from the significant rise in costs.