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Byline: KALI LINDSAY Reporter

FAMILIES in County Durham will soon be paying more council tax to help fund policing.

Councillors have agreed to a proposed hike of 7.09% in the council tax police precept for the county.

Durham Police, Crime and Victims' Commissioner Ron Hogg outlined plans to raise the precept by PS12 a year for Band D properties.

The increase will generate around PS31.5m for the force.

Mr Hogg unveiled the proposal to Durham County Council's police and crime panel at a meeting yesterday.

In a report to councillors, he said: "The police and crime panel is required to review the proposed precept, and to make a report on it.

"The report can include recommendations on the level of the precept.

"The panel has the power to veto the proposed precept, which requires a two-thirds majority in favour of a veto."

Mr Hogg said there had been "little to no opposition" to the increase during a public consultation but it was still ongoing at the time of writing the report, and his "intention remains to increase the precept by the maximum amount".

Durham Constabulary is expected to receive funding of PS84.67m from the Government in the coming financial year -the same as 2017-18.

But with increased costs, including pay rewards, pension contributions and general inflation, it would be a cut equivalent to around 2%.

Mr Hogg said the increase was needed to "maintain the excellent force".

He said: "I recognise households are under pressure and, whilst I deeply regret needing to ask local people to pay even more, I feel this increase is necessary in order to maintain the excellent police force we have.

"Rising costs, plus the looming threat of a new funding formula which would disadvantage us further, mean it is essential we maximise our resources."

With the Government funding and council tax police precept funds, the total budget for 2018-19 will be PS116.168m.

The police and crime panel opted to grant the proposed 7.09% precept increase rather than veto it.

How much could the tax increase cost you? | |Band A PS120.83 (increase of PS8 per year) | | Band B PS140.96 (PS9.33) | | Band C PS161.11 (PS10.67) | | Band D PS181.24 (PS12) | | Band E PS221.52 (PS14.67) | | Band F PS261.79 (17.33) | | Band G PS302.07 (PS20) | | Band H PS362.48 (PS24)


Durham PCC Ron Hogg

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Feb 2, 2018
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