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Police and Crime Commissioner proposes precept freeze

Police and Crime Commissioner for Cambridgeshire, Sir Graham Bright, today announced that he is recommending a freeze to the policing element of the council tax for 2015/16.

This recommendation follows the government provisional settlement announcement last month that the 2015/16 Policing Grant for Cambridgeshire Police will be £73.32 million. Although this settlement represents a £4 million reduction on the previous year it still allows Sir Graham to continue to deliver against the objectives and pledges as set out in the Police and Crime Plan.

The Commissioner has always stated he would ensure value for money policing with no extra burden on the council taxpayer. The Commissioner is also mindful that the Government has offered a council tax freeze grant of 1% to any Policing bodies who do not increase the level of council tax. The current rate of inflation, as at November 2014, is 1% which is the same as the council tax freeze grant on offer.

Because of this, and because of projects currently in place to deliver future efficiencies, the Commissioner is able to propose a freeze in council tax for 2015/16 and will apply for the expected council tax freeze grant from government.

Sir Graham said: “We recognise the hardships that many of our citizens are facing in these austere times and do not want to add to their burdens. My team have worked closely with the Constabulary to ensure an effective and efficient force, driving down costs during the year and developing plans to meet future saving requirements. The adoption of new technology and working in collaboration with other forces will continue to deliver further efficiencies moving forward.

We are therefore able to balance the books without the need to increase the precept this year. I would like to thank all those who have worked so hard to make this possible.”

The recommendation will go to the Police and Crime Panel for approval at their next meeting on 28 January.