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Police bid for more cash faces opposition
ANGRY councillors could veto a planned rise in the money being asked for to fund Dorset’s police service.
Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill has gone public with his proposals for a 1.95 per cent increase in the police’s part of the council tax bill.
Mr Underhill said the increase – the equivalent of a 7p weekly increase for a Band D household – would enable him to recruit more officers and invest in new technology. He said it would allow him to set a “challenging but achievable” budget.
But Cllr David Smith, a Bournemouth councillor who sits on Dorset’s Police and Crime Panel, said: “The public are seeing their own pockets squeezed and it is not right to ask local council taxpayers to fund further activities that should be delivered from within existing police budgets.
“On behalf of Bournemouth, I will not be supporting this proposed increase and would urge representatives of other local authorities to exercise their veto too.”
Meanwhile the chairman of the panel said that although the final decision on increasing the police precept will be Mr Underhill’s, the panel would be meeting in January to scrutinise his plans and see whether there were any other areas where savings could be made.
“He gave an indication he was going to ask for it but it has to go through scrutiny in January,” he said. “There’s still quite a few questions that need answering before we have a chance to comment on it. We need to make sure there’s no other avenue we can look at to economise further. Residents have now been alerted to what they could have to pay and we’re hoping that there might be ways that we can avoid this.”
Details of the precept proposals are open for public consultation until the end of January.
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