Home Secretary Theresa May steps into row over police’s share of council tax

Bournemouth Echo: POLITICAL: Dorset Police at work POLITICAL: Dorset Police at work

A ROW over the decision to raise the police’s share of council tax has escalated with an MP involving the Home Secretary.

Dorset police and crime commissioner Martyn Underhill’s plans to raise the police precept by almost two per cent will go ahead despite failing to win a majority when put to the vote.

Although the county’s police and crime panel voted 9-7 against the rise, the law says a veto must be supported by two-thirds of members.

Bournemouth East MP Tobias Ellwood has met Home Secretary Theresa May over the issue and said it had been agreed that he should write with his views on how the panel’s powers should be revised.

He said Dorset Police under-spent by £2million last year and was projected to under-spend by £1.8m this year.

“There are many back office savings to be had through greater collaboration with local authorities,” he said. “I understand Bournemouth council has made such an offer but this has not been taken up. There are also greater savings to be had through joint training, procurement and administration support of all five constabularies as demonstrated by the fire and ambulance services in the South West.”

He said Bournemouth council would have to foot a £300,000 bill for the rising police and fire precepts if it wanted to freeze total council tax.

Martyn Underhill said the rise would cost a band D household an extra £3.60 a year and pointed out that the police and crime panel was a scrutinising body rather than a decision-making committee.

“I have been consulting for months on these proposals and 74 per cent of respondents support them,” he said.

He added: “I received intense political lobbying by Bournemouth politicians, intent on receiving my support to help them achieve their promise not to raise the council tax in Bournemouth before the next local elections. To pledge a four-year zero rise in council tax during a deep recession and unprecedented cuts to public spending is naïve at best, and foolish at worst.

“This is particularly so when it is understood that the police and fire elements of the council tax are not a decision for the council to make.

“I was disillusioned to find that some panel members voted according to their local political manifesto and not on the pan-Dorset needs of Dorset Police.”

Comments (6)

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3:06pm Fri 14 Feb 14

RM says...

Is Theresa May going to do anything about it once she's received Tobias Ellwood's report? When is the next election for a PCC due? Will there be an option 'Don't want this role to continue' in addition to a list of candidates?
Is Theresa May going to do anything about it once she's received Tobias Ellwood's report? When is the next election for a PCC due? Will there be an option 'Don't want this role to continue' in addition to a list of candidates? RM
  • Score: 2

4:44pm Fri 14 Feb 14

Hessenford says...

Martyn Underhill says, To pledge a four-year zero rise in council tax during a deep recession and unprecedented cuts to public spending is naive at best, and foolish at worst
The reason for the above is because the country is bankrupt and the council has to live within its means, something you need to try Mr Underhill.
My wages haven't risen in five years, there was no pledge there, it was because my employer couldn't afford a pay rise because of the recession.
This is why your precept rise has attracted so much commentary, you are a moron Mr Underhill and the sooner you and your position goes the better, you need more money then do the decent thing and donate your salary to the police force and leave quietly, also get rid of the backroom boys who do nothing toward proper policing and get shot of the new position you have just created for £50,000 per year for another jobsworth who is supposed to generate income, what a no brainer, that position has cost £50,000 before he or she has even started, idiot.
Martyn Underhill says, To pledge a four-year zero rise in council tax during a deep recession and unprecedented cuts to public spending is naive at best, and foolish at worst The reason for the above is because the country is bankrupt and the council has to live within its means, something you need to try Mr Underhill. My wages haven't risen in five years, there was no pledge there, it was because my employer couldn't afford a pay rise because of the recession. This is why your precept rise has attracted so much commentary, you are a moron Mr Underhill and the sooner you and your position goes the better, you need more money then do the decent thing and donate your salary to the police force and leave quietly, also get rid of the backroom boys who do nothing toward proper policing and get shot of the new position you have just created for £50,000 per year for another jobsworth who is supposed to generate income, what a no brainer, that position has cost £50,000 before he or she has even started, idiot. Hessenford
  • Score: 2

5:28pm Fri 14 Feb 14

Teddy 1 says...

Good. I for one think it is disgusting that the police and councils dont work together and reduce duplication in departments. The fire service and police should certainly share a single HR department, finance and IT...in fact wasnt this a promise that was made by mr underhill? May be by sharing resources they would actually make some progress in cost cutting and getting some people into the police back office that actualky know what they are doing rather than playing at what was it 'a change programme'. I hope Theresa May listens and stops this nonsense!!
Good. I for one think it is disgusting that the police and councils dont work together and reduce duplication in departments. The fire service and police should certainly share a single HR department, finance and IT...in fact wasnt this a promise that was made by mr underhill? May be by sharing resources they would actually make some progress in cost cutting and getting some people into the police back office that actualky know what they are doing rather than playing at what was it 'a change programme'. I hope Theresa May listens and stops this nonsense!! Teddy 1
  • Score: 2

5:54pm Fri 14 Feb 14

p.smith1958 says...

On June 10th 2014 her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be served notice of our intention to invoke article 61 Magna carta 1215.
On June 10th 2014 her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be served notice of our intention to invoke article 61 Magna carta 1215. p.smith1958
  • Score: 1

7:56pm Fri 14 Feb 14

Hessenford says...

p.smith1958 wrote:
On June 10th 2014 her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be served notice of our intention to invoke article 61 Magna carta 1215.
Sounds good, lets do it now, I for one am in favor of a good rebellion.
[quote][p][bold]p.smith1958[/bold] wrote: On June 10th 2014 her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be served notice of our intention to invoke article 61 Magna carta 1215.[/p][/quote]Sounds good, lets do it now, I for one am in favor of a good rebellion. Hessenford
  • Score: 1

7:59pm Sun 16 Feb 14

pete woodley says...

Hessenford wrote:
p.smith1958 wrote:
On June 10th 2014 her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be served notice of our intention to invoke article 61 Magna carta 1215.
Sounds good, lets do it now, I for one am in favor of a good rebellion.
Please may we know what article 61 says.
[quote][p][bold]Hessenford[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]p.smith1958[/bold] wrote: On June 10th 2014 her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II will be served notice of our intention to invoke article 61 Magna carta 1215.[/p][/quote]Sounds good, lets do it now, I for one am in favor of a good rebellion.[/p][/quote]Please may we know what article 61 says. pete woodley
  • Score: 0

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