Council tax precept increase ‘to help protect Gwent communities’ says PCC

Wednesday 2nd March 2022 12:00 pm
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Jeff Cuthbert
Gwent PCC Jeff Cuthbert (Pic from Gwent Police )

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The Police and Crime Commissioner for Gwent, Jeff Cuthbert, is to raise the amount the average household pays for policing through council tax by £1.32 per month to allow Gwent Police to continue keeping communities safe.

This investment will enable Gwent Police to continue to provide an efficient and effective service, and create 10 new Community Support Officer posts over the next year said Mr Cuthbert.

The decision follows a robust operational and financial case put forward by the Chief Constable Pam Kelly and a 12-week programme of public engagement with residents across Gwent.

It also reflects a recommendation from the Gwent Police and Crime Panel to raise the council tax precept by 5.5 per cent for 2022/23 to help address current demands on the service.

Jeff Cuthbert said: “This is always a difficult decision, made even tougher by the worst cost of living crisis for 30 years.

‘‘However, the fact remains that almost half of Gwent Police’s budget comes from local tax payers and, without an increase, cuts to essential services will have to be made.

“I am confident that a rise of about £1.32 a month on average remains affordable, while allowing Gwent Police to deliver the commitments in my Police and Crime Plan and continue to keep Gwent one of the safest places in the UK.

“It will also enable Gwent Police to recruit 10 more Community Support Officers over the next year to serve our communities.

‘‘These are in addition to the 200 new Police Officer posts we have invested in since 2016, and the 206 additional officers funded by the UK Government’s Operation Uplift.

“I would like to thank everyone that took the time to share their views and to the Police and Crime Panel for their continued scrutiny and support.”

Chief Constable Pam Kelly said: “I’d like to thank the Police and Crime Commissioner, panel and local community for their continued support to deliver our policing plans in Gwent.

‘‘This decision balances the need to deliver our ongoing improvements, with the increasing financial pressures we’re all facing in our everyday lives.

“It was heartening to hear the feedback from our local communities that was gathered during the precept consultations, the large majority of which was encouraging and supportive. As always, we remain committed to serving you, tackling the crimes that affect you most and protecting our most vulnerable.”

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