Stephen Doughty – the Labour MP for Cardiff South and Penarth – is asserting that the UK Government’s leaked plans to increase police funding in England and Wales ( partly by another huge rise in Council Tax Police Precepts) are “nowhere near enough” .
The “Police Precept” – is the additional element of Council Tax imposed by police forces on Council Tax payers in their respective local areas. In South Wales last year the Police Precept was increased by 7% – a figure way above the rate of inflation.
For the 2019/20 year it’s emerged that police forces are now likely to receive an increase of £620,000,000 – partly paid for by a further huge increase in the Police Precept – imposed on Council Tax payers in local authority areas in England and Wales.
Because the Police Precept is worked out as a percentage figure, it will bite particularly hard in towns like Penarth which have a large number of properties in high-valuation bands. [ In Penarth Heights many small terraced two-bedroom homes are valued in the high “Band F” bracket which equates to a current Council Tax of £2,149.61] .
As well as the increase in the Police Precept element of Council Tax, a further £170,000,000 is likely to be added to police budgets by the Home Office and Treasury . All that comes on top of extra £160,000,000 for “counter-terrorism” announced by the Chancellor of the Exchaquer Philip Hammond in last month’s Budget.
The new police settlement for England and Wales could be announced later this week by Home Secretary Sajid Javid but has yet to be approved by the Home Office.
However Cardiff South and Penarth Labour MP Stephen Doughty has already criticised the leaked funding proposals,
He says ” This is nowhere near what our police need to deal with increase in demand” and claims that “this Sajid Javid police funding announcement is obviously yet another sleight of hand.”
[BACKGROUND : Doughty has frequently lobbied in favour of more funding for the police . He is a Labour member of the influential Parliamentary Home Affairs Committee.
In 2012 Doughty used his maiden speech in the House of Commons to deliver a paean of praise to his predecessor , the former Cardiff South and Penarth Labour MP Alun Michael – who reportedly had helped ensure Doughty succeeded him. Alun Michael became South Wales Police and Crime Commissioner that same year.
In 2012 Wales on Line reported that Alun Michael had intervened in Labour’s candidate-selection process to insist that Doughty was placed on the shortlist for the Cardiff South and Penarth seat . Labour members said at the time it was no business of an incumbent MP to have any hand in the selection of a successor, but Alun Michael is said to have persuaded then Labour Leader Ed Miliband to ensure Doughty’s candidature was re-considered – after which Doughty received the nomination.