Ben Adams smiling

Have your say on Police and Fire council tax contributions

Staffordshire Commissioner for Police, Fire & Rescue and Crime Ben Adams is asking people to have their say on how much they would be prepared to pay for Policing and Fire & Rescue services in Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

The Staffordshire Commissioner is responsible for setting the services’ budgets, and determining the contribution residents make as part of their annual council tax precept. He also sets out a strategic direction in Local Plans for Staffordshire Police and Staffordshire Fire & Rescue, and appoints their Chief Constable and Chief Fire Officer, who make the operational decisions and run the organisations.

Mr Adams said: “As Commissioner, it is my duty to secure effective and efficient Police and Fire & Rescue services that ensure community needs are met, while commissioning services to prevent crime, reduce anti-social behaviour and support victims across Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent.

“Last year’s cost of living rise hit residents hard so I decided to set council tax increases below the maximum allowed by government and below inflation. Even so, you provided an additional £6m for your local Police and £1.9m for Fire & Rescue and this has made a difference.

“This year, many people have seen their pay, benefit or pension increase but balancing household budgets is still challenging. I aim to keep council tax as low as possible and will only ask for more in order to maintain or improve your Police and Fire & Rescue Service.

“While both services have sound finances, the future is uncertain with energy costs remaining high, international instability and the cost of servicing our national debt following the pandemic likely to restrict central government grants. Staffordshire Police and Fire & Rescue will continue to make savings and increase productivity but to secure their future, to keep improving service levels and provide the security we expect, it will require investment.

“So, I would welcome your thoughts. How much are you willing to contribute to support our Police and Fire & Rescue services? Every penny you contribute helps to keep Staffordshire safe.”

Here is a snapshot of the progress made within Staffordshire Police and Staffordshire Fire & Rescue towards delivering the ambitions in the Commissioner’s Local Plans:

  • The Fire & Rescue service are tackling more incidents, many due to climate change, and continue to target prevention activity at the most vulnerable while pioneering activity to support our local NHS and West Midlands Ambulance.
  • Staffordshire Police are more local, visible and responsive. 999 and 101 have improved and crucially the force is set to have 2,000 officers by April 2024, 400 more than in 2019, and even more than Mr Adams promised when elected in 2020.
  • 24/7 roads policing is imminent, new safety cameras and vans are being rolled out to improve road safety and £500k has been invested in more number plate recognition to track criminals using our roads. The Commissioner’s Office is supporting more victims, doing more prevention work and making our neighbourhoods safer.
  • Additional investment would help Staffordshire Police carry out more pro-active investigations into serious organised crime. It would also allow them to take advantage of new technology including artificial intelligence – freeing up officers to target criminals.
  • Investment in Staffordshire Fire & Rescue would help secure the number of wholetime and on-call firefighters required to respond effectively across all our urban and rural areas while building their prevention team’s capacity to work with the NHS and others to keep us safe.

The precept consultation runs from today (7 December 2023) until 4 January 2024. Have your say here:

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