25 Jan 2019
Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn has today (Friday 25 January 2019) announced that he will increase the police precept by £2 per month, remaining the lowest Council Tax precept in Wales.
The Commissioner’s proposal was accepted today in a meeting of the Police and Crime Panel, with 9 voting in favour of the increase, and 1 member against.
During the course of the meeting panel members had challenged the Commissioner about the impact that the proposed precept would have on council tax payers and the effect that a smaller increase would have on police numbers.
However, Cllr Keith Evans (Ceredigion) said “we face a stark choice, either increase the precept or cut services’
Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn, said:
“I can confirm that my proposal to increase the police precept by £2 a month has today been endorsed by the Police and Crime Panel. Today’s agreement means that a Band D property will pay £248.56 for policing in 2019/20, an increase of £24 for the year.
“In making this difficult decision, I have taken into account a number of different factors including the Chief Constable’s future resourcing requirement, the level of reserves, and future plans for investment in infrastructure. This increase is in line with Central Government’s financial settlement for 2019/20 which allowed Police and Crime Commissioners (PCC) flexibility to raise the precept by £24 a year per Band D property. The majority of PCCs across England and Wales are seeking to do this.
“I am, however, totally frustrated with Central Government for continuing to place the burden of costs for police and public services on the local taxpayers, in a time where they will be hit from all directions. Given the scale of the financial pressures faced, I believe that Dyfed-Powys and the police service generally are in a critical and precarious position. This precept increase is vital to service sustainability. As Commissioner, I have both articulated and lobbied local Members of Parliament in relation to the very significant impacts and risks that threaten our local communities.
“I have also consulted with the public to obtain their views on the precept, and was delighted to see an increase in the numbers of Dyfed-Powys residents participating in this year’s consultation. Two thirds, 66%, of those who responded to my survey would pay an additional £2 per month, per Band D property for policing services. I have considered these responses carefully and they have helped to inform my decision.
“Dyfed-Powys still has the lowest Council Tax precept in Wales, and has had the fifth lowest council tax precept increase across England and Wales since 2012/13. Increasing this level of funding will enable the Force to continue to focus on the delivery of the Police & Crime Plan and continue to safeguard the communities of Dyfed-Powys”.
In addressing the Police and Crime Panel the Commissioner cited the damning conclusions of the National Audit Office's report published in September that the Home Office 'does not know if the police system is financially sustainable '. He went on to state his personal frustration towards the Home Office whom he feels are neglecting their responsibilities of funding local policing services at an appropriate and sustainable level.
Under the Commissioner’s scrutiny, Dyfed-Powys Police has continued to make progress achieving an overall ‘Good’ grading from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire & Rescue Services (HMICFRS) in early 2018. The most recent HMICFRS inspection took place in late 2018 and the results will be published by HMIC in the spring of 2019.