Police stick to old bill for 2011

HIGH PEAK householders are to be spared a hike in their policing bill this year, it was agreed last week.

Members of Derbyshire Police Authority agreed to hold their share of the council tax bill at last year’s levels in the light of the financial hardship facing many people today.

This means the authority qualifies for a grant worth 2.5 per cent from the Government to help recover any lost income that would have been generated by an increase.

Householders will pay £163.74 for a Band D property, the same as last year. However, savings still need to be made.

The authority has agreed to set its budget at £170.3 million for the next 12 months, 3.3 per cent less than last year. Around £6 million of savings and efficiencies has been made already but a further £5 million is needed to balance the budget.

This will come through freezing police officer recruitment, a voluntary redundancy scheme and by reducing some policing costs such as forensic science and criminal justice costs. The budget also has to take into account the freeze on the policing precept.

Cllr Philip Hickson, Chairman of Derbyshire Police Authority, said: “Our preparation work has been thorough and the prudent measures we have taken now will ensure we continue to deliver high-quality policing in the county for many years to come.

“We are constantly exploiting new ways to streamline our organisation to reduce duplication and deliver additional savings and this will ensure we can manage any future financial crises effectively, further protecting the interests of our communities.”

During the meeting members had considered an increase of 3.44 per cent in the police element of the council tax but there was a majority decision in favour of freezing the council tax level.