Share

Mostly Cloudy

Sat

°C | 8°C

Broken cloud

Sun

16°C | 10°C

Mostly clear

Mon

18°C | 11°C

Home   Kent   News   Article

More Kent Police jobs could still go despite council tax rise announced by commissioner Ann Barnes

07 February 2014
by Paul Francis
The cost of policing the county is to go up for council taxpayers by just under 2%, the Kent crime commissioner Ann Barnes has announced.
 
It will mean household bills for the police element of the council tax rising on average by £2.81 to £144.27.
 
But despite the rise, the commissioner warned it might not be enough to safeguard jobs and more police officers could have to go.
Kent police commissioner Ann Barnes

Kent police commissioner Ann Barnes

It is the second successive tax hike the commissioner has imposed.
 
Mrs Barnes had suggested this week she wanted an increase of 3.5% to help retain more officers on the beat, but would only do so if it did not trigger a public referendum.
 
The government has now confirmed its threshold for a public vote on any rise is 2%.
 
Mrs Barnes said: "I am reluctantly proposing a £2.81p increase per household... which is in line with inflation and means there will be no growth in police officer numbers – we remain with the status quo."
 
"Visible policing is very dear to my heart because I really do care about the service the taxpayer receives..." - Kent Police commissioner Ann Barnes
The squeeze on police budgets as part of the government's austerity drive has meant the force has had to make £50million in savings, equating to around 700 staff and 500 officers over a four year period.
 
From 2015, there will be a second round of cuts – that could be as much as £20million – meaning further job losses.
 
Mrs Barnes added: "Visible policing is very dear to my heart because I really do care about the service the taxpayer receives. Losing more officers will absolutely be the last resort and I will make sure that Kent Police looks at every possible way to save money and to find efficiencies."
 
But she warned the stark reality was "some posts would be wiped off the books".
 
Mrs Barnes added: "I honestly mean it when I say I'm heartbroken to have to ask the people of Kent for a little more money, but this shows just very how hard it is for public sector services at the moment."
 
Council taxpayers will contribute about £82m to the force budget of £280m.

Click here for more news from Kent.

Click here for more news from around the county.

Comments 

Forgotten Password?

Forgotten Username?

Don't have an account? Please Register first!

The KM Group does not moderate comments.
Please click here for our house rules.

Thank you. Your comment has been received and will appear on the site shortly.

 

Terms of Comments
We do not actively moderate, monitor or edit contributions to the reader comments but we may intervene and take such action as we think necessary, please click here for our house rules.. If you have any concerns over the contents on our site, please either register those concerns using the report abuse button, contact us here, email multimediadesk@thekmgroup.co.uk or call 01634 227989.