Council tax rise of £10 in Manchester to pay for police after damning inspection report

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The mayor has proposed raising the police precept by nearly five percent. This is to improve response times to 999 and 101 calls in Greater Manchester after a damning inspection report led to special measures being placed on the Greater Manchester Police (GMP).

In 2020, a report by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) found that the Greater Manchester police had failed to record 80,000 crimes.

This accounted for one in five of all reported offences in the year to June 2020.

More specifically, the force had a significant backlog of 2,700 emergency calls from vulnerable individuals that it was failing to prioritise.

Overall, Mr Burnham plans to add £22 onto council tax bills to pay for bus reform, the fire service’s response to terrorism and improvements to police call response times.

Manchester residents living in Band D properties will thus see a £12 increase in this part of their council tax bill from April this year.

This is only if the proposed changes are approved next month.

Of the total increase, £10 would be part of a police precept.

The general precept is expected to be approved at a Police, Fire and Crime Panel meeting on January 31, 2022.

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If successful, overall council tax would increase by 7.1 percent for Greater Manchester residents.

The general precept will also be used to sustain schemes launched by the mayor including the Our Pass scheme which is set to be extended for another year.

The Greater Manchester mayoral precept will be spent on homeless shelters too.

This part of the precept will allow the A Bed Every Night scheme to continue housing around 600 homeless people a night.

In March 2021, Stephen Watson was appointed as the new Chief Constable for Greater Manchester Police.

The police precept was not increased last year despite special measures being placed on GMP.

However, this new funding would allow the force to continue with Operation Avro, an initiative that delivers a surge of extra resources and specialist officers to a different district within Greater Manchester each month.

It could also fund a community messaging system that neighbourhood policing teams would use to inform the public about their activities.

In addition, Mr Burnham is looking to reverse a reduction in fire engines.

Greater Manchester Combined Authority, which had previously proposed cutting the number of fire pumps as part of the Programme for Change savings strategy has said it will keep 50 fire engines in the city-region.

There will also be five firefighters per pump at single pump stations and four per pump at double pump stations, the mayor confirmed to council leaders.

Together with the central Government policing grant, the extra funding from the precept would also fund 438 additional police officers – of which 60 would be dedicated to road safety.



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