The Police and Crime Panel is required to consider and formally respond to the Police and Crime Commissioner’s Proposed Precept for 2020/21. The purpose of this item is to allow the Commissioner to outline his proposals in more detail and to answer any questions that Panel Members might have.
Following consideration of the Commissioner’s proposed precept, the Panel must either:
a) agree the precept without qualification or comment;
b) support the precept and make comments or recommendations concerning the application of the revenues generated; or
c) veto the proposed precept.
In accordance with the Police and Crime Panels (Precepts and Chief Constable Appointments) Regulations 2012:
(a) The Commissioner must notify the Panel of his proposed precept by 1 February 2020;
(b) The Panel must review and make a report to the Commissioner on the proposed precept (whether it vetoes the precept or not) by 8 February 2020;
(c) If the Panel vetoes the precept, the Commissioner must have regard to and respond to the Panel’s report, and publish his response, including the revised precept, by 15 February 2020;
(d) The Panel, on receipt of a response from the Commissioner notifying it of his revised precept, must review the revised precept and make a second report to the Commissioner by 22 February 2020 (there is no second right of veto);
(e) The Commissioner must have regard to and respond to the Panel’s second report and publish his response by 1 March 2020.
David Munro, Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner
Ian Perkin, Treasurer (OPCC)
Key points raised in the discussion:
· The delay in the 2020-21 Police Finance Settlement (including the police precept capping limits) which was only issued in late January, meant the OPCC went out to consultation before the precept level was known.
· The online public consultation garnered 3,112 responses from residents with 61% in favour of the proposed precept level of 5% and 39% in favour for the lower proposed precept level of 2%. Some residents responded that they were disappointed they were not given the option of no change in the precept - that option was not considered as the PCC did not want to reduce police numbers - and another key response were queries as to where the additional funding from the precept went last year as residents did not see the increased police numbers as promised. The PCC stated that many of those extra officers were still in training.
· The final proposed precept level was set in between the higher and lower figures in the consultation at 3.84% which equated to an extra £10 to Band D in Council Tax without triggering a local referendum.
· The result of that precept level would be a sustained increase in police officers and staff numbers across departments, with a special focus on increasing neighbourhood policing as that was a key area to residents as identified within the eleven community engagement events the PCC attended. Confidence in Surrey Police was good and rising and it would take more than a year to address the shortage of police over the last decade.
· There was a proposal for further savings in the report in order to increase efficiency and reduce unnecessary waste.
The Panel voted unanimously:
That it agreed the proposed Surrey Police Council Tax Precept of £270.57p for a Band D Property for the financial year 2020/21.
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