The Chairman welcomed Kevin Wilson, the Chief Finance Officer at the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner to the meeting. Mr Hunter and Mr Wilson had been invited to the meeting to discuss with the Panel the Police Precept for 2021-22 and Medium Term Resource Strategy (MTRS) 2021-22 to 2025-26.
The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) informed the meeting that the MTRS for 2021-22 to 2025-26 that weas attached to report as an appendix included the Commissioner’s income and expenditure plans for the next five years.
The MTRS had been updated to take account of budget pressures, savings proposals and the recent provisional Police Finance Settlement that was issued on 18 December 2020. The capital programme and the projections for the Commissioner’s reserves were also included.
The MTRS sets out a sustainable financial position over the medium-term and included the following key elements:-
Ø An underspend for the current financial year (2020/21) of £0.155M;
Ø Financing included in the MTRS for a capital programme of circa £50.1M over the period 2021-22 to 2025-/26;
Ø Impact of the 2021/22 Police Finance Settlement including funding for 95 additional officers as part of year 2 of the national Operation Uplift;
Ø Savings requirement over the period 2021-22 to 2025-26 of circa £8.8M;
Ø Total Reserves of £8.1M by 1 April 2026;
The PCC informed the meeting that the MTRS included a council tax precept increase of £14.99 a year on a Band D property for 2021/22.
The Police and Crime Commissioner informed the Panel that he had a duty to consult the public in regard to the intention to increase the policing precept. The proposed rate should then be considered by the Police and Crime Panel.
The Commissioner issued a Funding Survey and Council Tax Police Precept consultation which asked for views on increasing the Council Tax Precept by £15 on a Band property in line with the Government’s recommended amount. The Survey ran from 23 December 2020 to 22 January 2021.
Due to the reach of social media and other platforms, the consultation attracteda total of 1,691 responses, the highest engagement to date.
The findings from the survey were as follows -
Agree with the Commissioner's proposal - 1,173 (69.4%)
Disagree with the Commissioner's proposal - 518 (30.6%)
In line with recommendations from the Police and Crime Panel made at the budget meeting on 6 February 2020, the PCC included more data collection to enable the OPCC to ensure it was engaging with a representative sample of the community. A copy of the full analysis was included as appendix 1 to the report paper.
In addition, the OPCC conducted further analysis to heat map where it had respondents by first four digits of their postcode. This demonstrated the following reach across the Humber area;
Ø People responded from every Humberside postcode area
Ø Neighbourhood Policy, 999 response patrol and Crime Investigation were the top areas of policing teams the public felt were most important to them
Ø Roads Policing, Neighbourhood Policing and Rural Policing were the top three areas the public felt of least importance
Ø 77% of respondents were aged over 45, of these 36% were over 65 years.
Ø The 18-24 years bracket had the least engagement 1.2% of the sample
Ø 11% of the sample were non White British or preferred not to say
Ø 18% of the sample considered themselves to have a disability
Following the Commissioners verbal update, the Chairman facilitated a discussion between Panel Members and Mr Hunter and Mr Wilson on the Commissioner’s proposal to increase the precept for 2021-22, by 6.560 % (from £228.22 to £243.21 for a Band D property, an increase of £14.99).
Resolved – That having considered the evidence submitted by the Police and Crime Commissioner and Mr Wilson, Chief Finance Officer at the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, and their responses to questions from members, it was unanimously agreed that the Humberside Police and Crime Panel support the precept without qualification or comment.