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Survey on an increase in council tax to help protect operational policing is launched
The Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) for Thames Valley, Anthony Stansfeld, has today launched a survey seeking public views on an increase in the police element of the council tax by £1 a month (for a band D property).
On Tuesday 19th December the Home Secretary announced a substantial £450 million increase in police funding across England and Wales. However, this funding package assumes that all PCCs will raise the police element of council tax by £1 a month (or £12 a year) for a band D property which, collectively, will raise £270 million of the £450 million increase. This settlement will allow forces to continue to provide an effective service in their critical work to fight crime and protect the public.
At present around 60% of Thames Valley Police’s £393 million annual policing budget is funded by central government, with the policing element of council tax making up the remainder. Since 2010/11 the police grant has been cut by around 38% in real terms which has resulted in Thames Valley Police (TVP) having to make £99 million of savings in order to balance the budget. These cuts have already led to a manpower reduction of over 1,000 full time equivalent posts, including more than 450 police officers.
Anthony Stansfeld, Police and Crime Commissioner said: “Setting the budget for 2018/19 needs to be considered in the context of an already constrained financial position as well as the additional pressures policing faces as demand in some of the most complex and challenging areas continues to increase.
“This includes rising reports and cases of hidden crimes such as domestic abuse, child abuse, sexual offences, serious violence and exploitation have all increased the pressure on police resources.
“Needless to say this is proving to be extremely challenging and without the increase of £12 per year in council tax, as recommended by the Home Secretary, we would have to make further significant reductions in police officers and staff which will affect the level and quality of policing service we are able to offer you.
“In November 2017 TVP was judged by the Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, Fire and Rescue Services (HMICFRS) to be ‘outstanding’ in the efficiency with which it keeps people safe and reduces crime. This includes an ‘outstanding’ for its understanding of demand and its use of resources to manage demand, and its planning for future demand was judged to be ‘good’. Thames Valley Police was one of only two forces nationally to have been awarded an overall rating of outstanding.
“Ideally I would not choose to consult over the busy Christmas and New Year period and particularly on such an important issue, however, the Chief Constable and I only received the provisional police grant settlement for 2018/19 from the Home Office on Tuesday 19th December.
“Unfortunately due to budget decisions needing to be finalised by the end of January I am only able to run the consultation until 11th January.
“I apologise for the timing and length of the consultation period but I hope you will take the time to complete the survey which will help the Chief Constable and I to make an informed decision on the budget for 2018/19.”
The short online survey and further background information can be found on the Thames Valley PCC website:
Closing Date: Midday Thursday 11th January 2018
Those residents who do not have access to the internet can write to the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner, Thames Valley Police Headquarters, Oxford Road, Kidlington, Oxon, OX5 2NX with their answers to the below questions.
Do you think an extra £12 per year in council tax, for a Band D property, to help protect operational policing in Thames Valley would be money well spent?
If not, please explain why and what annual increase you believe is justified and will enable Thames Valley Police to do their job effectively?
Please note that all postal responses needs to be received by midday on Thursday 11th January 2018
Impact on different Council Tax bands
The figures quoted are based on a Band D household. The impact on residents living in properties with a council tax banding of A to H are set out below.
Council Tax Band
A = £8.00
B = £9.33
C = £10.67
D = £12.00
E = £14.67
F = £17.33
G = £20.00
H = £24.00
Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner
Thames Valley Police Headquarters
Kidlington OX5 2NX
Brand new safety surface installed at the playground. Many thanks for the 4 volunteers that removed the existing woodchip and spread 4 tonnes of the new rubber surface. This new surface is one of the safest available, it is durable will not rot away like the bark and deters animals from using it.
The new surface was purchased with the help from local developer contributions and a West Berkshire Council Parish Plan Grant.
Dates for the Christmas Rubbish & Recycling collections can be found here
The West Berkshire Countryside Society Winter Newsletter can be found here:
Rural crime update from Assistant Chief Constable Nikki Ross
Reports of rural crime in the Thames Valley have increased by five percent between October 2016 and September 2017.
I would like to reassure members of our rural communities of my commitment to investigating reports of rural crime. We rely on information from our local communities and take such reports very seriously. Incidents are robustly investigated by our local policing teams who have dedicated Rural Crime and Wildlife Officers based across the Thames Valley.
Rural crime can take many different forms including burglary, robbery, theft, criminal damage, fly tipping, poaching and hare coursing. We are continuing to work with local residents, businesses and partners to raise awareness of crime prevention techniques while developing problem solving solutions to tackle rural crime.
There are often fewer witnesses to rural crimes and greater opportunities for criminals to target isolated properties and businesses. The impact of these crimes can also be greater, with people feeling more vulnerable due to their remote location.
You can reduce the risk of becoming a victim of rural crime by taking a few simple steps including:
If you become a victim of rural crime or suspect that a crime has taken place, you should always report it to police by calling the non-emergency number, 101. If an incident is in progress, or there is an immediate threat to life, you should call 999.
You can receive the latest rural crime news from Thames Valley Police and their partners directly to your phone or inbox by signing up to CountryWatch at: http://www.thamesvalleycountrywatch.co.uk/
Update from Highways England:
After successfully lifting into position all six central reservation beams along the M4 between junctions 12 and 13, the remaining three weekend closures have now been cancelled (15 – 18 December, 12 – 15 January and 19 – 22 January 2018).
The scheme will still require occasional full overnight road closures, the dates for which will be advertised in advance on signs alongside the M4 and in the media.
The following is a list of all the Christmas Services and Carol Services taking place across the
West Downland Benefice:
10th December - 4pm Village Carols and Readings
18th December - 6pm School Carols by Candlelight
20th December - 10.20am School Christmas Assembly
Christmas Eve - 10pm First Communion of Christmas
Christmas Eve - 3pm Carols by Candlelight
20th December - 9am School Christmas Service
22nd December - 7pm Beer & Carols at The Ibex
Christmas Day - 10pm Family Communion
23rd December - 3pm Carol Service
13th December - 7pm Newbury & District Agricultural Society Carol Service
31st December - 10am United Benefice Holy Communion
3rd December - 3pm Chrisingle Service
17th December - 3pm Carol Service
21st December - 6pm Carols around the Tree
Christmas Eve - 11.30pm Midnight Communion
Christmas Day - 9.30am Family Communion
8th December - 6.30pm Christmas Party with Carols
10th December - 10am Nativity Play Service
Christmas Day - 8am Holy Communion
19th December - 7pm Carol Service
12th December - 5pm School Nativity Play
17th December - 11am Carol Service
Christmas Day - 11am Family Communion
This is written by the Parish Clerk with input from the village.
Click here to find out more about the planning process and to view all the current planning applications in Brightwalton.