Policing element of council tax frozen

SUSSEX Police is to freeze its portion of the Council Tax for 2013/14.

The newly-formed Sussex Police and Crime Panel has confirmed the recommendation of the Sussex Police and Crime Commissioner not to increase the policing element of Council Tax for the next financial year.

The panel discussed the draft Police and Crime Plan drawn up by Police and Crime Commissioner Katy Bourne this month.

The plan is still in draft but the principles and objectives were approved.

Although more details are to come, the panel will not be looking at the plan again before the Commissioner publishes it, although they made comments and suggested amendments at their recent meeting.

One key element of the plan is the precept - the amount the Commissioner wants to raise from Council Tax - for the coming financial year.

The draft plan proposed no change, leaving the precept the same as last year at £138.42 for a Band D property.

The panel, which includes councillors from each of the 15 local authorities in East and West Sussex and Brighton and Hove plus two independent members, scrutinises the decisions and actions of the Police and Crime Commissioner.

It was asked for its views on the priorities outlined in the plan, titled Safer In Sussex 2013/14.

The Commissioner will have to take the panel’s views into account as she writes the final version of the Police and Crime Plan 2013/14

Panel chairman Brad Watson OBE said: “The panel agreed that there should be no increase in the Council Tax element, which is good news for the taxpayers of Sussex.

“We also discussed the Commissioner’s plan and approved the main principles and objectives.”

The plan will incorporate the views of other organisations including businesses and Community Safety Partnerships, victims and witnesses, the Sussex Criminal Justice Board, the Safer Roads Partnership, and parish and town councils.