North Yorkshire crime commissioner’s tax freeze warning

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North Yorkshire’s crime commissioner warned that a freeze in her share of council tax could mean having to cut the number of police officers in the county as she launched a consultation on the issue.

Julia Mulligan says North Yorkshire Police’s funding is in a “relatively good state” as the force underspent by £500,000 this year and has unallocated reserves of nearly £10 million.

Her options for the police’s share of the council tax precept are to freeze it, meaning the force would get a government grant of £640,000, or increase it by 1.99 percent, raising £1.2 million a year.

The third option is to put up the precept by more than 1.99 per cent, which could raise more money, but would have to be approved by a referendum which would could at least £700,000.

Launching a consultation on the proposals with a survey on her website, Mrs Mulligan said: “I don’t feel it is right to put taxes up when we have that [a £500k] underspend within the organisation whilst we can still receive a top-up from central government.

“However, this decision would mean it is harder in the future to deliver services, and it is probable that police officer numbers will need to be reduced in future years. I would like to know which option the North Yorkshire public support.”