With less government funding once again heading our way, I have found it necessary to ask for a 1.98 per cent rise in the portion of council tax paid towards policing.
This works out at just under one penny a day extra for the average Band D household.
Amounting to an annual increase of £3.42 for Band D, it brings the average yearly cost for the policing precept to £176.40 to raise an estimated £52.4m for use in the fight against crime in Nottinghamshire.
All in all, my budget for the year is £188.2m – smaller than last year by £5.6m, or £10m less if you take into account inflation and a £6.8m cut in the government’s funding grant.
Not only will every penny count in tackling crime and reducing victims of crime but I will ensure that it is spent wisely and well.
So, we face another challenging year. I am, however, committed to protecting spending on community safety for schemes delivered with our partners which will benefit all communities.
I have also made provision in my budget for new and different ways of achieving safer communities, such as prevention work and a renewed focus on the needs of rural areas.
Over the past four years, we have had to deliver £42m in cost-saving and efficiencies in order to balance the budget.
With no let-up of cutbacks in sight, we need to continue with these plans.
Not only do we have a shrinking purse but we need to fill the budget gap of £11m while at the same time continuing to reduce crime and improve performance – despite falling numbers of police officers and staff.
Our cost-cutting yet performance-conscious plans and targets are vital.
We will, therefore, be continuing with redesigning the police estate to make it more suitable for modern day needs and reduce overheads, and using better technologies to allow officers to work out in the communities rather that in stations.
Increasing regional collaboration between our neighbouring counties’ policing areas will also bring more financial and performance benefits, and I expect our Delivering the Future change programme to enable balanced budgets to be set in the future.
Whatever we do to make ends meet, I will do my utmost to protect front line services wherever possible and ensure that the priorities in my police and crime plan continue to reflect what you have told me you expect from policing.