Will Forster

Lib Dem Borough Councillor for Hoe Valley and County Councillor for Woking South Learn more

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5.54% Council Tax increase proposed for Surrey Police

by willforster on 15 January, 2021

My Lib Dem colleagues and I are urging residents to respond to the latest proposal by the Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner for a 5.54% increase in the police element of Council Tax.

The proposal corresponds to an annual increase of £10 for Band A households, £15 for Band D, and £30 for Band H properties, on top of any increases by Surrey’s local authorities like Surrey County Council and Woking Borough Council.  The increase is the maximum permitted without requiring a local referendum of Surrey residents.

If implemented, the proposal will mean the police element of Surrey residents’ Council Tax has increased by nearly 30% over the term of the current Police and Crime Commissioner, David Munro, who was elected as a Conservative in 2016 but is now an independent.  Despite this increase in funding from residents, there has been an overall reduction in visible policing, and the proportion of positive outcomes for vulnerable victims has halved.

Like most people I want to see, and would be prepared to pay for, more police on our streets and better performance in preventing and solving crimes, but I want to see better value for money too.

A further 5.54% increase represents a huge burden on residents who have suffered economically during the pandemic, and Surrey Police’s efficiency still requires improvement according to the latest independent PEEL inspection in September 2019.

The Government should be criticised about this too, along with the support of Surrey’s Tory MPs, they been systematically underfunding Surrey Police and local government since 2015.

Yet again Surrey’s Conservative MPs have let down their constituents, by backing a settlement which forces Surrey residents to fund a higher proportion of police spending than almost any other part of the country.  The Tories claim they are providing more funding to start restoring police numbers, but the bulk of the increase has to come from increases in Council Tax.

Please have your say on the proposed Council Tax rise here.

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