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Rise in Police Tax Precept Agreed Despite More Votes Against

PCC Martyn Underhill

7:44am 7th February 2014
(Updated 8:54am 7th February 2014)

Despite more votes against Martyn Underhill's proposed Policing precept rise, it wasn't enough to force a veto to his plans.

It was 9 votes against and 7 in favour following the Dorset Police Crime Panel hearing yesterday (Thursday 6th Feb) who have now agreed to increase the Police Council Tax Precept - 12 votes against are needed to quash proposals.

A Band D property will now pay an extra £3.60 a year, taking the bill up to just over £187.

The policing precept for 2014/15 will increase by 1.96%.

Police and Crime Commissioner Martyn Underhill was question over the rise and how he intends to spend his £113.4M budget.

Cllr John Adams, Chairman of The Dorset Police and Crime Panel, said:

"The Police and Crime Commissioner fully explained the financial needs, requirements and aspirations of his budget plan.

"However, we asked the Commissioner whether he could find the extra money without asking the hard-pressed residents of Dorset in a time of continued hardship. Some members suggested that the funding could have been found by other means, such as his underspend or from capital reserves without affecting services to the public.

"Although we did not support the proposed increase, it was not vetoed, so the precept will now be increased without the panel's full backing."

Dorset PCC Martyn Underhill said: "I would like to thank the Dorset Police and Crime Panel for supporting my precept proposals and everyone who has taken part in our precept consultation. The budget I will now be setting will secure the additional recruitment of sixteen new police officers, 300 body worn cameras for officers across Dorset, a cyber-crime awareness campaign and seven rural community vehicles."

The Commissioner added: "My decision to recommend raising the precept has not been made lightly. The 1.96% option represents the best balance between sustaining the Force and seeking to limit the impact on council tax payers, in the context of reduced central funding."

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