Kevin Hurley, Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey, is inviting local ratepayers to comment on his proposals for the Surrey Police budget for 2014/15.
Next year – 2014/15 – the Commissioner had proposed to set a gross revenue budget for Surrey Police of £207.1m, a reduction of £0.1m from the previous year. The remaining £2.2m he proposed to make up by increasing what we raise from local taxpayers via Council Tax by 2%. For a Band D property, this would represent an increase of £4.07 for the year, or 34p per month.
We have subsequently learned this week that our Government funding is to be cut further, by around £700k, equivalent to around 20 constables. Options are now being explored for making up this additional shortfall.
Kevin Hurley, Police and Crime Commissioner for Surrey, said: “These are difficult times for the police and all the public services. The world around us is changing – the Government has less money to pay for services following the recession. Increasing life expectancy in our country means that the amount employers – ourselves included – have to pay towards pensions is going up. As ever, crime is evolving and the police have to invest to be ready to tackle it.
“My goal is to set a budget for Surrey Police for next year to manage these issues and enable the police to provide the level of service you tell me you expect.
“This has not been made easier by an additional cut to our funding announced this week, which will take money away from police forces to pay for HMIC and the IPCC amongst other things. I am greatly concerned by this. What does it say to our officers and staff when more money is being taken away from their vital work on the front line to pay for them to be inspected more? The public tell me they want to see money spent on front line policing. Not more inspections.
“I am working hard to try and secure more Government money for Surrey and we will be participating in a review of this in the next few months. We receive one of the lowest levels of Government funding in the country which means you as ratepayers have to pay more in council tax. I don’t believe this is fair. I will continue to make our case for a better deal as strongly as I possibly can.”
To let us know what you think, you can:
– Email us at SurreyPCC@surrey.police.uk
– Write to us at Surrey PCC, PO Box 412, Guildford, Surrey GU3 1BR
– Call us and arrange to speak to the PCC’s Chief Finance Officer on 01483 630 200