Tax rise would save police jobs

Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw.
Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw.

Police jobs in Lancashire could be saved if Fylde coast residents agree to pay more in council tax to support the force, the police commissioner has said.

Lancashire Police is facing further cuts to its budget despite George Osborne’s pledge last month to protect police funding.

We will receive less in Lancashire over the course of the next few years to provide our local policing services

The county’s police and crime commissioner, Clive Grunshaw, is now consulting over a proposed two per cent increase in the council tax precept to soften the blow.

He said: “We will receive less in Lancashire over the course of the next few years to provide our local policing services.”

The Chancellor’s pledge relied on all forces raising council tax by two per cent, he said, while increased spending on armed police and counter terrorism nationally will hit individual forces’ budgets.

He said a two per cent increase in the precept, worth around 6p for a band D property, would raise £1.3m for the force – enough to employ 28 police officers.

Lancashire Police has identified £74m of savings since 2010. By 2017, officer numbers will have fallen by 900 and another 700 staff will have gone.

Mr Grunshaw said budget cuts make job losses ‘inevitable’. He added: “What an increase in council tax of around two per cent will do is maintain a number of roles that would otherwise be lost.

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