South Yorkshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner 'can’t afford not to' raise council tax precept

South Yorkshire’s police and crime commissioner has said that the force ‘can’t afford not to’ raise the council tax precept by 4.69 per cent, as it has had to dip into its reserves.

Friday, 4th February 2022, 5:03 pm
Updated Friday, 4th February 2022, 5:25 pm

At a meeting of the region’s police and crime panel today (February 4), members accepted the rise, which equates to an extra £10 per year for Band D properties, or 19p per week.

Just over 30 per cent of the force’s budget is expected to come from council tax, and the other 70 per cent comes from a ‘settlement’, or government funding.

Read More

Read More
Council tax goes up in Sheffield thanks to a £14m budget blackhole

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Dr Billings told the meeting: "I do recognise that people in South Yorkshire are struggling. The books do not balance at the moment, unless we use some reserves.

However, the PCC will have to use £2.3m of reserves in 2022/23 to balance the books.

Dr Billings told the meeting: “I do recognise that people in South Yorkshire are struggling.

“The books do not balance at the moment, unless we use some reserves.”

The core grant for South Yorkshire amounts to £233.8m, a cash increase of 5.8 per cent, which covers the current cost of the additional police officer uplift, national insurance increase, and contribution towards pay inflation.

South Yorkshire Police also have a number of ‘legacy costs’ to budget for, which is estimated to reach £121m by 2026/27, of which £18m will be paid by the force.

The legacy costs cover civil claims against SYP as a result of the Hillsborough football disaster, civil claims against SYP as a result of non-recent child sexual exploitation (CSE) in Rotherham, and the National Crime Agency’s on-going investigations into non-recent CSE.

“Those legacy costs of £5.4 million – there is some external funding coming in to offset all of that,” Dr Billings told the meeting.

“Even so, there will be a deficit of £200,000, which will have to come from reserves.

“If you look ahead over coming years, then there will be there will remain deficit over those years which will have to be funded from reserves unless the government is more generous in its grant.

“If no action is taken by the savings team of a fairly drastic nature, we will simply run out of reserves by the time we get to 2026/27.”