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Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd confirms £251 law and order bill for households

The price of policing in Hertfordshire for average householders in Bishop’s Stortford, Sawbridgeworth and across the county will rise by £13 from April.

The 5.5% rise in the law and order precept set by Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd has been confirmed.

The increase means the annual bill for an average (Band D) property will increase from £238 to £251.

David Lloyd, Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire
David Lloyd, Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire

Two-thirds of properties in Hertfordshire are in council tax bands A to D. Band A will pay £8.66 extra, Band D will pay £13 while Band H, the largest properties, will get a £26 increase.

Running Hertfordshire Constabulary is expected to cost £294.2m in the financial year from April.

This is funded by a combination of £150m from central government, £117m from council tax and an additional £27.2m in fees, charges and other grants.

Herts Police and Crime commissioner David Lloyd
Herts Police and Crime commissioner David Lloyd

The annual council tax bill for Hertfordshire households is made up of precepts levied by the county council, district or borough councils, the police and crime commissioner and parish or town councils.

Hertfordshire County Council is set to confirm its share of the demand later this month but has tabled a maximum 4.99% hike – including 2% to support adult social care. This will add £80.12 to its current 2023-24 bill of £1,605.63 for the typical band D household, taking the 2024-25 demand to £1,685.75.

East Herts Council, which collects all council tax payments in the district but keeps around just 10%, is also yet to confirm its share. However, a Band D Council Tax increase of £5.65 to £195.52 per year has been recommended.

Bishop’s Stortford Town Council has frozen its precept for a seventh year and will ask Band D households for £68.69.

Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd and Chief Constable Charlie Hall
Police and Crime Commissioner David Lloyd and Chief Constable Charlie Hall

Overall, a Band D bill of £2,200.96 is likely, compared to £2,101.91 last year, representing a 4.71% or £99.05 increase.

Mr Lloyd said his £13 increase would raise an additional £6.1m to bridge the budget gap caused by cost of living increases and prevent the loss of any frontline officers.

Standstill pressures are expected to increase the overall cost of running the constabulary by £21m for the next financial year from April 2024.

Last year, Mr Lloyd and the Chief Constable Charlie Hall began an extensive efficiency and effectiveness review to identify savings.

To balance the budget, Mr Lloyd has now agreed on a programme of measures expected to cut costs by £7.5m.

These measures include maintaining police community support officers at their current levels, improving over time efficiency and additional savings from the collaborated units with Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire Constabularies.

Mr Lloyd has also agreed to reduce the grant budget he allocates by £750,000.

He said: “My proposal to increase the police precept by an average of £13 a year was supported by almost two-thirds of the thousands of members of the public who responded to the consultation.

“It is not a decision I have taken lightly but the standstill pressures of officers' pay increases, alongside inflationary cost have led to a significant rise in the cost of running Hertfordshire Constabulary.

“A key part of my role is ensuring that the police service is efficient and effective and that public money is being used wisely.

"Last year, the chief constable and I launched a joint force review to see where changes could be made to deliver the best service to the public for the money being spent.

“This increase, alongside those identified savings, will enable the Constabulary to balance the budget for the forthcoming year without making cuts to frontline services.”

Mr Lloyd was speaking after the proposed precept was examined and unanimously agreed by the cross-party Police and Crime Panel on Thursday evening (February 8).

Mr Lloyd’s decision follows a public consultation in which 64% of residents said they wanted to pay more to support policing in the county. Of 2,291 replies, the remaining 30% disagreed with the proposal and 6% were neutral.

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