POLICE across the borough have launched a yearly survey which will shape how much extra is spent on policing in the upcoming council tax year.

 

Barnsley residents have been asked for their views on the setting of the council tax precept for policing for the financial year starting in April 2021.

 

Dr Alan Billings, South Yorkshire police and crime commissioner, has launched the consultation process to seek the views of the public before he makes his proposal for the precept for the coming year.

 

Residents are being asked to complete a survey to say how much extra they would be willing to pay for policing.

 

The police budget is made up of a government allocation of funding (76 per cent) and money raised from the council tax precept (24 per cent).

 

The precept is the part of the council tax that contributes towards the total funding available to the police and crime commissioner to provide policing, community safety and victims’ services.

 

Police and crime commissioners have a duty to consult with residents and make a decision on precept levels for 2021/22 to propose to the Police and Crime Panel before the budget is set early this year.

 

The results of the consultation process will help decide the level of precept that needs to be set to raise the necessary funds for police priorities.

 

Dr Alan Billings said: “Next year, the government grant will not be enough to allow us to recruit further officers, and pay for the existing service, without an increase in the precept.

 

“The government has recognised that and is allowing police and crime commissioners to increase the precept by up to £15 per year for a Band D property.

 

“I recognise that there will be many families who will be in a difficult place financially next year, not least because of the impact of the coronavirus on jobs.

 

“But I also know that if we are to get on top of crime we need the additional officers.

 

“I believe, therefore, that I will have to set a precept close to what the government is allowing.

 

“Even so, in order to balance the books, I will have to ask the force to make substantial savings.

 

“But this precept would enable me to increase officer numbers, fight crime, support victims and keep the people of South Yorkshire safe.

 

“In order to help me do this I am seeking the views of members of the public to find out if they are willing to pay a little bit more, and if so, how much more.”

 

The survey will close at 5pm on January 15.

 

To complete the survey, click here.