Council Tax Funding Formula Needs To Change

“Putting up council tax is a bitter pill for the residents of South Yorkshire”, the Federation has said, adding that the Government’s funding formula needs to change so that the force is better resourced.

In February, the South Yorkshire Police and Crime Commissioner approved a 5.46% increase in the council tax policing precept, meaning that South Yorkshire residents will face an average £13 increase in their bill for policing services.

South Yorkshire Police Federation Chair Steve Kent said: “We’ve got one of the poorest counties per head in the country, in terms of the rate of people living below the poverty line. So putting up council tax is a bitter pill for the residents of South Yorkshire, because they’re having to pay more for a service than elsewhere in the country, in more affluent areas.

“That’s because of the funding formula. The funding formula is absolutely wrong and it needs to change. The poorer the area, the less money the police get from central Government. That’s bizarre – it should be the other way around. Because of the fact that we can’t raise a lot of money from council tax in South Yorkshire because of the eligibility factor of a lot of the residents, we are always disadvantaged.”

Steve added: “The PCC almost has no choice but to raise the council precept. But it’s of limited value, because the percentage of people within South Yorkshire who pay council taxes is quite low. What we need to see is the central funding formula for police forces to be changed at Government level, and for the poorer areas to be given priority resourcing and finances.”

The mayoral elections take place on 2 May this year and Steve said he was concerned about how that might affect policing, but was looking forward to engaging with the new Mayor.

He said: “We don’t know whether the mayor will appoint a deputy mayor with power over policing. The current PCC has always been quite constructive in the way he’s worked with South Yorkshire Police, and us in the Federation, so we’d like to see that continue.

“It’s a concerning transitional period, to see if there’s going to be a change in tack towards policing, but I look forward to meeting with either the mayor or the deputy on policing going forward.”