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Public consultation on council tax

Leicestershire's Police and Crime Commissioner has carried out a survey asking residents how much they are prepared to pay towards policing.

Sir Clive Loader wants to set a precept that is in line with local people's wishes and encouraged residents across the county to make their views known by taking part in the survey in person or online.

He explains: "Having received the provisional funding settlement, it is certainly better than we expected earlier in the year, but this position is predicated to some extent on local taxpayers contributing an additional two per cent through an increase to their council tax contributions. The exact details of the provisional settlement will be worked through during the next few weeks.

"As ever, difficult decisions will have to be made to ensure we continue to provide a policing response in Leicester, Leicestershire and Rutland that meets people's expectations. This is why it is imperative local people take part in the survey and tell me exactly how much they would like to pay towards achieving this.

"Every year our budget shrinks while pressures on our services continue to increase and change. It's important the public understands the challenges we face and plays their part in helping us to resolve them. I want to hear what local residents have to say before I make any decision on next year's precept."

Currently, an average Band D householder in the county pays 49.3p per day (£180 per year) towards policing.

Sir Clive is continuing to work with the Chief Constable to identify cost savings and minimise the tax burden on local residents. He has outlined three options for next year's council tax precept and asked the public to tell him which they preferred.

1. Freezing council tax at the current rate which means that the Force would need to find a further £1.1 million in savings above those already planned which is the equivalent of a reduction of 20 police officers although alternative ways of making the savings would be sought.

2. Increasing council tax by 1.5 per cent which would mean a Band D household would have to pay an extra 5p per week (£2.70 per year). This would bring the savings burden down to £0.25 m - the equivalent of a reduction of five police officers.

3. Increasing the precept to two per cent - the maximum level that can be set before triggering a referendum - which would increase the average household council tax bill for policing by an extra 7p per week (£3.58 per year). This would be in line with the Government's Spending Review and would not necessitate any funding cuts beyond those already planned.

Members of the public who completed the survey were asked what factors contributed to their answer as well as whether they had been a victim of crime in the past 12 months and if they had reported it.