Uncertainty over the future funding of Lincolnshire Police continues after the Government announced it would not be increasing the central grant to the force.
This is despite Nick Hurd, Minister of State at the Home Office, agreeing to raise the cap, allowing the share of council tax for policing to be increased by up to 5.8 per cent.
That equates to between 65p and £2 a month depending on the council tax band of the property, potentially raising up to £3.3million for the county, but current budget predictions estimate a shortfall of £6m.
The minister also announced that any proposed review of the funding formula will be delayed until after the 2019/20 financial year.
Lincolnshire Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones said he would not be making a decision on council tax until he has finished his survey of residents, due to be completed at the end of December, but said: “I am disappointed that we still do not have a long-term solution for future funding and will continue the battle to get one.
“The latest announcement gives us an opportunity to raise extra money from council tax but even that will only plug a gap in the short term.
“We have some tough choices to make because without extra funding from somewhere we will be forced to make cuts.”
He thanked local MPs for standing with him in the fight to solve the long-term funding issues.
Mr Jones recently launched a comprehensive survey – including questions on spending and council tax – which has already received nearly 3,000 replies from across the county. To take part go to www.research.net/r/PCCLincs or call 01522 581420.
This news came as the county council executive, which takes the largest share of the council tax bill, agreed to recommend a council tax increase of 3.9 per cent including savings of £23 million, using £30 million from reserves to pay for a proposed budget of £423 million.
The council will consult with the public on these proposals until February 4. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The executive said it could increase council tax by more than 3.95 per cent but this would mean an increased burden on council tax payers.
The Executive meets again on February 6 to recommend final proposals for the council to adopt on February 23.
Sleaford Town Councillors being recommended at their January 3 meeting to agree to a 2.33 per cent year on year increase equalling £2.50 a year onto a Band D property, totalling £110 for its share of a Band D bill.
In his report, clerk Kevin Martin explains the council’s support grant will reduce by 53 per cent for the coming year and cease for 2019-20, but the authority has several major projects for the coming year including refurbishing Eastgate car park.