Essex Police agrees 6.84% increase on its portion of council tax to protect ‘hard-fought gains’.

Essex Police agrees 6.84% increase on its portion of council tax to protect ‘hard-fought gains’.

Essex Police’s share of Council Tax is set to increase by nearly £15 for an average home – without which ‘hard-won profits are at stake’.

This means a Group D household will see a 6.84% rise – up £14.94 from £218.52 in April.

This will raise nearly £10million in council tax revenue, which will be used primarily to ensure new recruits receive the training they need before being sent to Patch.

Police Chief Ben-Julian Harrington (62223569)

Chief Constable Ben-Julian Harrington said in a letter to Essex Crime Commissioner Roger Hirst: “In preparing this proposal, I am very aware that calls for increases in local taxation can come at a time when finances of people under pressure seem unrealistic.

“Similarly, the additional funds will not lead to a significant increase in the number of employees. However, I must stress that the external cost pressures on Essex Police are great and through our ambitious and successful savings and efficiency programme, we have used every penny of additional investment to good effect.

“We are consolidating our growth with a highly dedicated but inexperienced workforce (40% of Essex Police Officers have less than five years of service) and continue to expand our ability to continue to reduce crime, bring justice to victims and of course continue to build community Trust in Essex Police is essential and without additional funding as outlined these hard won gains are at risk.”

Since 2018, the number of civil servants has risen from 2,950 in 2017/18 to the current level of 3,755 – the highest ever caused by successive council tax increases from a 2017/2018 level of £157.05 for a house in the band D was paid .

Mr Harrington said: “This budget proposal focuses on consolidating the investment and resources we have received and recruited and deploying the additional officers and technology to make policing more visible, accessible and consistent. This includes providing training and support to gain the experience needed to continue the excellent work of keeping the people of Essex safe.

“Investment in supervisors to provide world-class support, guidance and development for new officers is essential and will be achieved through training and continued professional development, while ensuring continued professionalism, support and leadership throughout the force.”

The entire council tax bill is split between Uttlesford District Council, Essex County Council, Essex Police, the Fire and Crime Commissioner, Essex County Fire and Rescue and local councils for the services they provide. Each agency sets its budget and bid for the coming year – 2023-34.

So far Stansted Council has agreed to a zero per cent increase for the average Group D property in its share of the council tax bill. Villagers are paying no more for council services than they did last year – £127.88, or 2.45p a week.

Uttlesford District Council is proposing a £5 increase on last year’s figure, from £166.61 a year to £171.61 for an average Band D property, but those figures will not be finalized until the whole council approves them on February 21 approved.

Essex County Council is proposing a 3.5% increase in last year’s average Band D fee from £1,401.12 to £1,450.17 – an increase of £49.05 or 94p a week.

Essex Fire’s figures are yet to be agreed.

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