Alun Michael’s 7% hike in the South Wales Police Precept was actually voted down by the Police and Crime Panel – but it’s going through anyway

It’s emerged that Labour Police Commissioner Alun Michael’s huge – inflation busting hike in the 2018/19 South Wales Police Precept WILL be be imposed on council-taxpayers in Penarth and South Wales DESPITE the fact that it was voted-down by the South Wales Police and Crime Panel.

The crucial meeting was held on January 30th at the Orbit Business Centre at Rhydycar Merthyr. Minutes of the proceedings have yet to be published .

The Orbit Business Centre in Merthyr where the South Wales Police and Crime Panel met to vote on the proposed huge 7% increase in the South Wales Police precept – which will be added to local council tax.

It’s now been revealed that the normally-supine South Wales Police and Crime Panel was so horrified by the massive increase being demanded by Alun Michael that on January 30th the majority of members present voted AGAINST it  [6 members voted against and only 4 voted in favour] .

However, because only 10 members of the 12-strong panel actually turned up at the crucial meeting – and under Home Office rules it would have needed 8 members to veto the huge hike in the police precept – the contentious proposal was automatically endorsed  – even though most South Wales Police and Crime Panel Members were opposed to it and voted against it. The two members who failed to turn up were both Swansea councillors.

It means that the South Wales Police and Crime Precept WILL rise by 7% and the new higher charge will be added to all council tax bills in South Wales – including those in the Vale of Glamorgan and Penarth – as from April.

This is the 5th year in a row that the Labour police commissioner Alun Michael has imposed a Police Precept charge which is far more than the annual rate of inflation [currently 3%]

  • In 2013/14 Alun Michael increased the Police Precept by 7%.
  • In 2014/15 he increased it by 5%
  • In 2015/16 he increased it by 4.8%
  • In 2016/17 he increased it by 5%
  • Now this year – 2017/18 –  he’s increasing it yet again by 7%.

South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner ,Alun Michael is the former Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth

The excuse Alun Michael has put forward this year for the increase in the Police and Crime Precept  is that he has “no alternative” but to pay out for a new “apprentice levy” – but his less-than-convincing explanation has already been shredded by the Conservative Party who have pointed out that the UK Government had made extra money available to the Welsh Labour Government to cover the cost – and that Labour Ministers in Cardiff Bay were responsible for not passing it on.

Conservative AM for South Wales Central Andrew RT Davies

Conservative Leader Andrew R T Davies said has said “A 7% rise is a significant amount – and the justification for it does not stack up.The Police and Crime Commissioner claimed it partly was necessary to pay the UK Government’s Apprenticeship Levy – yet Labour Ministers in Cardiff Bay were given money to cover these costs.

The fact they have chosen not to pass it on is their responsibility – leaving local people to pick up the bill. Rather than blaming Westminster – Labour politicians need to accept that it is their decisions in Government in Wales that has seen us fall further and further behind the rest of the UK.”

[PDN Note: In imposing this latest 7% increase in the South Wales Police Precept this year, Alun Michael is following the pattern adopted in his previous term of office when, after his 2012 election as South Wales Police and Crime Commission he also imposed a swingeing 7% increase in the 2013 precept. Labour insiders say that the best time to get a high precept through is immediately after an election and then settle for more modest rises in the ensuing 5 years in the hope that electors will have forgotten the steep rise by the time they go to the polls again. It remains to be seen whether voters in Penarth will forget this year’s increase quite so quickly]

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  1. Chris David says:

    That’s what you get for making a political appointment- especially a donkey labour one. Home office eh! So despite the labour huffer puffers in the Senedd England still rules.

  2. Philip Daviez says:

    This is typical of labour policies. Their ability to manage financial issues is clearly spend spend spend and the public will pay, pay and pay again. No doubt the next vote will be to increase Alan Michael’s salary.

  3. Philip Gibbs says:

    Maybe the police and crime commissioner would like to explain how this fits with the 5% increase last year, again above inflation. The majority of people haven’t seen wage increases above 1% for the last ten years. Maybe he should start wearing a mask?

  4. Barry Shaw says:

    The two Councillors from Swansea who failed to turn, they wouldn’t be Labour Councillors by any chance? Alun Michael probably told them not to attend in fear of embarrassment!

  5. Patrick Webster says:

    You perform a valuable public service.
    Where were you?

  6. Big Davey says:

    If his brains were dynamite he wouldn’t have enough bang to blow his hat off!

  7. hopenotnasty says:

    The public are not stupid but some of the usual suspects who post on here are. The conservative government has cut spending by 20% since 2010. Result 21,000 fewer police officers across the U.K. The main suspect for these cuts when Home Secretary Theresa May.
    I congratulate Alun Michael in attempting to keep people safe in such difficult times. The Conservative Party has lost the plot when it comes to Law and Order

    • PB says:

      Alun Michael is “keeping people safe”
      Don’t make me laugh.
      I agree that Conservative cuts affect police numbers but Michael will feather his nest before you see any of that 7% spent of putting right those Tory policies

    • Chris David says:

      How many extra policeman could we recruit if we scrubbed Michael and his cartel?

  8. Chris Franks says:

    Mrs May has a great deal of responsibility in this matter. It’s the UK government that imposed the rules otherwise the increase could have been stopped. Once again MPs have let Wales down.

  9. Why isn’t Alun Michael asking Carwyn Jones where the money is? Carwyn is always quick to point the finger of blame when there’s any shortage of funding from Westminster.

  10. Far Out East (cogan) says:

    Welcome back!

    7% !!!!!
    Alun Micheal loves to spend spend spend.

  11. Mike cotton says:

    The meeting shouldn’t have been rearranged.The public would like to know what reasons for this majority absence?

  12. Mike cotton says:

    Apologize,above should have read, meeting should have been rearranged.

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