COVENTRY council tax bills are set to rise due to a police decision today to raise more cash to compensate for government cuts.
West Midlands Police and Crime Panel has unanimously voted to go ahead with force’s budget proposal, previously reported by the Observer, to raise its part of Council Tax by an average £5 a year.
It will from April put 10p a week on the police’s proportion of council tax bills – called a ‘precept’ – for an average band D property, currently £106.55.
West Midlands residents will still be paying over £65 less than neighbouring forces and less than residents in almost every other force area, says police commissioner David Jamieson.
He said: “The government have made it clear that to maintain cash budgets at current levels precepts must be increased by the maximum amount.
“In short, the government is funding the police at a lower level and has made it clear that it expects local people to pay more.
“The cross party panel recognised the government’s cuts and their change of emphasis.
“The panel also noted that West Midlands Police continues to offer excellent value for money compared to neighbouring forces.”
Mr Jamieson has previously said that if the police precept was frozen at its current level, West Midlands Police would lose out on approximately £3.3million a year, which would have resulted in a “significant impact on policing”.
It comes after chancellor George Osborne’s spending review in November gave the West Midlands force freedom to raise the Council Tax precept above 2 per cent, which will still apply to many other forces.
A public consultation was staged on the proposal prior to today’s decision.