Norfolk PCC Stephen Bett returned to the County’s Police and Crime Panel this morning following their 9-1 veto of his proposal to freeze police Council Tax two weeks ago.
Having received a letter from the Panel asking him to reconsider his decision in favour of a maximum possible increase of 2%, Stephen presented his revised budget proposal at the public meeting.
Presenting his revised proposal to increase the policing element of Council Tax for 2016/17, Stephen said: “As you know, when I addressed you a fortnight ago I outlined the reasons why I was intending to freeze the policing element of the Council Tax for the next year.
“That decision was made after carefully weighing up all the options, but it was a decision made “on balance”.
“I said that, at the time, the decision on whether to raise the amount people pay for their policing is never an easy one – and one I have never taken lightly.
“I explained that during my many years involved with policing in Norfolk I have always taken a decision based on what I felt was best for both the people of Norfolk and the force.
“I acknowledged that it was extremely heartening to see that the majority of the near two and a half thousand people who responded to our consultation – some 64% – would be prepared to dig a little deeper and pay more for their policing if they needed to.
“Panel members will not need reminding of the stark messages from the county’s Chief Constable at the last meeting. No-one in the room could be left in any doubt that policing faces huge challenges.
“The Chief Constable’s pleas did not fall on deaf ears but – as I also made it clear last time – the Chancellor and Home Secretary pulled a huge financial rabbit out of the hat in announcing the protection of police budgets – and that move gave us options.
“On balance I decided to propose a freeze. However I was not prepared for the depth of feeling from Members on the day in favour of a maximum 2% rise, especially given the political makeup of the panel. I have to say that took me by surprise.
“I have been accused of one or two things down the years – in fact I was accused of one or two things at the last meeting – but one thing I always try and do is listen. I have prided myself on being a “Listening PCC” and have always tried to leave the politics at the front door.
“If I was not expecting a veto last time, I was certainly not expecting a vote of 9 to 1. It was a majority I could not ignore.
“I can assure you my original proposal was sincere, and it was made after carefully weighing up all the options.
“However, I now find myself in a position where when I add the weight of opinion of the Members of the Panel to the views of the public and the impassioned pleas of the Chief Constable I find the scales tipping in favour of a 2% increase.
“As I said two weeks ago I am Norfolk born and Norfolk bred and I want what is best for our county – and that remains the case.”
- Budget Breakdown: Including budget allocated to Norfolk Constabulary 2016/17 (PDF, 60.7 KB)
- Budget Breakdown: Information on policing precept and other sources of income 2016/17 (PDF, 65.1 KB)
- Budget Consultation 2016/17 Results Breakdown (PDF, 34.9 KB)
Report provided to the Police & Crime Panel at a public meeting on 2 February 2016, providing a breakdown of the responses to the PCC's budget consultation.
- Budget Consultation Responses 2016/17 (XLS, 525.8 KB)
Spreadsheet of responses to PCC's online survey on whether police Council Tax should be increased by 2% or frozen for 2016/17.
- Chief Constable's Panel Presentation (PDF, 494.0 KB)
Presentation given by Chief Constable Simon Bailey to members of the Norfolk Police & Crime Panel at a public meeting on 2 February 2016.
- Letter To Commissioner - Outcome Of Precept Review 2016 (PDF, 50.6 KB)
Letter from the Norfolk Police and Crime Panel confirming members' vote to veto the PCC's proposal to freeze the police element of the Council Tax.
- Letter to Commissioner on outcome of revised precept review - 16 February 2016 (PDF, 48.0 KB)
The members of the Norfolk Police and Crime Panel confirm their unanimous support for the PCC's revised proposal to increase the policing element of Council Tax.
- Letter to Panel on final precept decision (PDF, 37.8 KB)
Letter from PCC to Norfolk Police and Crime Panel confirming the end of the budget/precept setting process for 2016/17.
- Police & Crime Panel Agenda - 2 February 2016 (PDF, 3.1 MB)
Agenda from the public meeting of the Norfolk Police & Crime Panel on 2 February 2016, where Panel members considered the PCC's police budget/Council Tax proposal.
- Police And Crime Panel- February 16 - Response To Panel (PDF, 644.7 KB)
This revised budget report was considered and endorsed by the members of the Police and Crime Panel on 16 February 2016.
- Public Engagement Briefing 2016 (PDF, 671.7 KB)
Presentation given by Chief Constable Simon Bailey at public engagement events during PCC's January 2016 budget consultation.
- Revised Precept Report to the Police and Crime Panel - 16 February 2016 (PDF, 900.9 KB)
This revised precept (and council tax) report was considered by the Police and Crime Panel at its public meeting on 16 February 2016. The Panel endorsed the Commissioner's proposal to increase the council tax by 1.98% (£4.124) per annum to £212.94 at Band D. The collection authorities were notified of their individual shares of the total precept (£60,630,402) in letters from the Chief Finance Officer dated 16 February 2016.