15th May 2009
By Graham Clews
Police force leaders have attacked local government minister John Healey’s decision to cap the council tax precepts of Surrey and Derbyshire police authorities.
Bob Jones, chair of the Association of Police Authorities, said it was ‘ludicrous’ that Surrey County Council would have to spend £1.2m re-billing residents to save council taxpayers £1.4m.
‘This is money that could have been spent on policing,’ he said. ‘This seems to be about macho posturing rather than any attempt to secure value for money for local residents.’
Surrey Police Authority had proposed to increase its council tax precept by 7.07% this year, and Derbyshire Police Authority by 8.68%.
Surrey council will have to re-bill residents with a lower council tax for 2009/10 to reflect a smaller police precept. Derbyshire council tax levels will not be changed this year, but the council has restricted the scope for future increases.
Healey, announcing the capping on May 13, said: ‘There is simply no excuse for excessive council tax increases.’