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PCC proposes police council tax bill freeze
WEST Mercia’s police and crime commissioner has proposed to freeze the force’s tax precept for 2013/14 but is still trying to mitigate job losses in his police and crime plan.
Bill Longmore said more than 70 per cent of respondents to a consultation favoured freezing West Mercia’s 12 per cent share of the council tax bill over increasing it by one or two per cent.
To meet the Government’s overall spending plans, however, Mr Longmore is proposing a three-year financial plan which will see an overall reduction of about £21 million in police expenditure by 2015/16.
He said this would be achieved by a major restructure of policing across West Mercia but this could include the loss of about 250 jobs from the force over the next three years.
“I am pleased to announce a significant phase of the restructure will be completed in 2013/14 and no further reductions in police officer posts will be needed from April 1, 2013, with the planned level of reductions being achieved,” he said.
“The number of community support officer posts to be protected has been further increased through to at least 2015/16 - this represents an increase of 49 posts compared to original plans.
“Front-line policing requires effective back up and support services but by restructuring those services and working closely with our partner Warwickshire Police these can be modernised and provided at lower cost.
“This will involve the loss of some 250 West Mercia posts by 2015/16 but these job losses will be achieved over time and it is hoped compulsory redundancies can be minimised.”
Mr Longmore said people were concerned about police station closures and would be discussing with chief constable David Shaw about how the force could “best use” its existing buildings.
The commissioner will take on board comments due to be made by the police and crime panel on tomorrow before rubber stamping the precept level.