DN 01/2018: Police Precept Proposal 2018/19

Following a public consultation, Julia proposes an £11.50 increase of the police precept, for a Band D property, to the Police and Crime Panel

The PCC has decided, after consultation with the public, to propose to the Police and Crime Panel a police precept for 2018/19 of £232.82 for a Band D property within North Yorkshire. This would be an increase of £11.50 per annum, from the 2017/18 level.

Background

Legislation requires that the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) agrees their budget and associated precept and basic council tax for the forthcoming year before 1st March each year. However before doing so the PCC must notify the relevant Police and Crime Panel, by the 31st January, of the precept which they propose to issue for the following financial year.

The PCC has been informed by the Home Office that ‘In 2018/19, we will provide each PCC with the same amount of core Government grant funding as in 2017/18. Protecting police grant means PCCs retain the full benefit from any additional local Council Tax income. Alongside this, we are providing further flexibility to PCCs in England to increase their Band D precept by up to £12 in 2018/19 without the need to call a local referendum. This is equivalent to up to £1 per month for a typical Band D household. It means that each PCC who uses this flexibility will be able to increase their direct resource funding by at least an estimated 1.6% (which maintains funding in real terms).’

The results of consultation with the public of North Yorkshire in relation to the level of precept for 2018/19, which had 2,212 responses, which is over 40% more than 2017/18, has resulted in 75% of the public of North Yorkshire supporting an increase. Once the £12 option had been approved by government, this was also added to the consultation and 62% said that they would be happy to pay £12.

Telephone (n=728) Online (n=1,412) Total (n=2,140)
Freeze 20% 28% 25%
Increase by 1.99% 74% 64% 68%
More than 1.99% 6% 8% 7%
Increase by £12 67%* 56%* 62%

* Telephone n=604 / Online n=577 / Total n=1181 due to question being included part-way through consultation following government announcement

However, it is clear that a balance is needed and in addition, analysis by the Police and Crime Commissioner demonstrates that there is further scope for efficiency and productivity improvements. She has therefore asked the Chief Constable to implement a programme of organisational change over the next two to three years, with a clear objective of saving £7.5m on top of those efficiencies and savings factored into the 2018/19 budget.

This is also in line with the findings from the latest inspection from HMICFRS, which highlighted opportunities for efficiency improvements, as well as Ministerial criteria for increasing the precept. This states, “I welcome the progress forces have made against the £350m procurement savings target set at Spending Review 2015. However, there is a lot more to do. We have helped to identify £100m of potential savings [nationally] in areas such as fleet, professional services and construction. Forces will need to make greater use of national procurement through lead forces to make these savings. We are providing support through the Police Transformation Fund and we will also help establish a force-led National Centre of Excellence to drive down back-office costs and make best use of estates.” And “A modern digitally enabled workforce that allows frontline officers to spend less time dealing with bureaucracy and more time preventing and fighting crime and protecting the public. If all forces could deliver the same one hour per officer per day of productivity benefits from mobile working as the best in a recent sample with eight forces, this has the potential to free up the equivalent of 11,000 extra officers nationally to provide the proactive policing that committed police officers want to deliver.”

Going forwards, the Police and Crime Commissioner therefore expects efficiency savings to pay for improved wage increases and other budgetary / inflationary pressures being experienced by the organisation.

Given these factors, the Police and Crime Commissioner is proposing to increase the precept by just under the £12 level at £11.50, which will increase the Net Budget Requirement by £3.8m (or 2.7%).

The Police and Crime Commissioner is very aware that this is hard-earned public money and is therefore keen to spend that money on the public’s priorities.

Through the Police and Crime Plan, the public have set a clear priority to ‘Reinforce Local Policing’ and ‘Enhance the Customer Experience’. The Police and Crime Commissioner has therefore decided to create a ‘Policing Priorities Fund’, to which the Chief Constable will have to apply. This will help ensure alignment of public and policing priorities and in the first instance; we have identified four principal priorities:

  1. Improving performance of the force control room and the response to 999 and 101 calls made to the police by the public
  2. Maintaining and increasing frontline policing and PCSO numbers, helping the PCC and NYP to reach their goal of 1,400 police officers (an increase of 81 from December 2017 levels) and 200 PCSOs.
  3. Investment in services for Victims
  4. Transformational Change

In addition to being able to increase the precept by up to £12 this year, the Government also gave PCCs the option of increasing it by the same amount next year. The Police and Crime Commissioner is clear that the Chief Constable needs to have demonstrated real progress on delivering efficiency savings in order to justify a further increase of this level in 2019/20.

Decision Record

The PCC, having consulted with the public and taken their opinion on board, has reviewed the advice of her officers on the financial position of North Yorkshire Police.

With this in mind, the PCC has decided to propose to the Police and Crime Panel a precept for 2018/19 of £232.82 for a Band D property within North Yorkshire. This would be an increase of £11.50 per annum (around £0.96 per month), from the 2017/18 level.

signature

Julia Mulligan
Police and Crime Commissioner for North Yorkshire
Date: 30 January 2018

Statutory Officer Advice

Legal, Management and Equality Implications
The PCC’s CEO and Monitoring Officer has no additional comment to that of the CFO and S151 Officer below.

Financial and Commercial

The PCC’s Chief Finance Officer and S151 Officer has advised that the financial implications of this Decision are set out in the Executive Summary and/or the attached report. The decision will ensure that the PCC meets her legislative requirements in relation with the Police element of the precept and will also ensure that there is sufficient funding available in 2018/19 to fund the organisation to deliver against the Police and Crime Plan priorities.

Download

Published on
30/01/2018