BREAKING NEWS: Warwickshire Police Authority asks public to pay 57p a month more for policing

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MEMBERS of Warwickshire Police Authority today (Wednesday) voted to increase the costs of policing for local council tax payers by an average of 57p a month - £6.86 a year.

The Authority had to choose between accepting a one year grant from the Government, which would have provided just over £1m in 2012/13 but created a larger funding gap in the following two years, or increase the rate of council tax by 3.9% next year

For a band D council household this 3.9% increase is equivalent to 13p a week, 57p a month or £6.86 a year.

Warwickshire Police Authority Chair, Phil Robson, said: “Warwickshire Police and West Mercia police are working together to deliver high-quality, value for money policing services through an alliance. Together we already need to save £31m over four years to balance our policing budgets and we will have outline proposals in May to explain how we plan to achieve this.

“Authority members recognised that if we had chosen to accept a one-year 3% grant from the Government, because this will not be repeated next year, we would be asking the Chief Constable to find additional savings in 2014 and 2015 above those already required. Warwickshire’s first Police and Crime Commissioner, who will be elected this November, would have to make additional cuts in their first year in office.

“The decision was a difficult one at a time when personal finances are stretched but we felt that this was the correct course of action to maximise the protection we can provide to local communities next year and in future years. In order words, we have considered the medium term financial position of Warwickshire Police, not just 2012/13,” he said.

A 3.9% increase in council tax will provide Warwickshire Police with an additional £1.4 million in 20012/13 and future years. The one off Government grant of £3% would provide around £1 million in 2012/13 only.