DYFED-POWYS POLICE and Crime Commissioner, Christopher Salmon wants householders to pay less for their policing services this year.
He is recommending a 5% decrease in the policing element of council tax payments across Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire and Powys.
Mr Salmon said: “The police force has significant reserves of £43m of public money and the long-term trend is that crime is falling.
“I want to realign the level of precept with the real cost of running Dyfed-Powys Police; a fall in the precept will help that process.”
Mr Salmon’s proposal would result in a policing precept at council tax band D of £200.07 (down from £210.60) – a decrease of 20.3p per week. It would help deliver a 2015- 16 Dyfed-Powys policing budget of £95.6m (2014-15 – £97.9m).
He said: “My precept proposal balances the needs of families with the needs of our police service.
“Local policing is a priority and, due to investment in IT, our communities will see officers spend another 100,000 hours on the beat this year. That’s on top of the 30 new police officer posts we’ve created.
“An improved police air service will start soon, we have new mental health incident units, a new partnership to tackle antisocial behaviour and more domestic violence advisors. New rape crisis centres will open soon and I plan a CCTV strategy for the region.”
Mr Salmon’s precept proposal will go to the Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Panel today (Jan 23). They have the power to reject the initial proposal. Once the Commissioner and Panel agree a figure it will be implemented.
Throughout December, Mr Salmon consulted the public and the feedback helped him propose the -5 percent figure. Around 30 percent of people said they paid too much for the police and a similar proportion asked for reserves to be used to minimise the precept rise.
In 2015-16, Government funding to Dyfed-Powys will fall in by 5.1 percent from £53.0 million to £50.3 million. A -5 percent precept decrease would produce £43.0 million for Dyfed-Powys Police. Reserves of £2.3 million would be added to create the policing budget of £95.6 million. The Chief Constable would therefore have no less money from the Commissioner in 2014-15 than he did in 2015-16.
Mr Salmon added: “My decision to cut the precept reflects what too many politicians in Wales fail to recognise; the money they handle belongs to the public. We have a duty to spend every penny of it as if it were our own.
“The public want strong frontline policing and, through the whole organisation working more wisely and professionally, that’s what I want to deliver.
“We’re on track to save £8.8 million from 2013-16 and the Dyfed- Powys civilian support services continue to become more resourceful, adaptable and flexible.
“Thanks to tough decisions and the incredibly hard work of the Chief Constable, his team, Unison and the Police Federation we have increased police officer numbers and saved £3.74 million.
“Ours is not a rich part of the world but I can now ensure that families struggling with bills will pay a little bit less. Dyfed-Powys householders will pay the same for policing in 2017 as they did in 2014.
“We will continue to invest in estates and IT to deliver 100,000 more officer hours to the front line in 2015 – and a modern, 21st century estate.”
A level results still high in Ceredigion
THE ‘A’ level examination results published today by the WJEC (15 August) show that high standards are being achieved in Ceredigion schools once again. 97.9% of entries for WJEC examinations were graded A* to E, with 27.9% of the entries achieving the top ’A’ grades.
Ceredigion pupils continue to outperform the Welsh average. More pupils in Ceredigion achieve the top ’A’ grades and A* to E grades. The below table shows a comparison with average Welsh figures. These don’t include Welsh Baccalaureate results and those from examination bodies other than WJEC.
Wales 2019 Ceredigion 2019
Grade A* – A 27.92% 27.0%
Grade A* – B 56.0% n/a
Grade A* – C 77.5% n/a
Grade A* – E 97.9% 97.6%
Councillor Catrin Miles is the Cabinet member responsible for Learning Services. She said, “I would like to extend my warmest congratulations once again to Ceredigion’s sixth form students for their successes in this year’s A Level and AS examinations.
These results are the culmination of a long journey through school life which has seen them nurture and develop the academic and interpersonal skills that will enable them to move confidently into higher education, training or employment in fields of their choice. I wish them good luck for the future and would like to sincerely thank all who have contributed to their school journey in any way.”
MP Ben Lake calls for reform of police funding
HAVING recently shadowed Dyfed Powys Police officers in Aberystwyth, the Ceredigion MP has again urged the UK Government to review the police funding formula for rural areas.
Mr Lake visited Aberystwyth police station as part of the #GiveADayToPolicing campaign, a scheme for Members of Parliament to better understand the challenges currently facing police forces across the UK.
During his visit Mr Lake had the opportunity to experience a variety of aspects of local policing – from spending time with the neighbourhood policing team, meeting officers from different departments, and discussing policing challenges with front-line police officers.
Mr Lake has challenged the UK Government on several occasions to reform the formula for police funding – highlighting the need for the funding formula to take into consideration the seasonal pressures on forces, particularly the significant increase to the population of coastal areas during the summer months.
Mr Lake said: “I am very grateful to the officers of Aberystwyth police station for their welcome, and for taking the time to speak with me. I now have a better understanding of the challenges our police officers face, as well as a deeper level of respect and admiration of their work and commitment to public safety.
“As I have previously stated, we cannot expect a one size fits all approach to work effectively across the whole of the UK, and as such, it is imperative that the criteria used to allocate the Home Office police grant are revised so that they reflect the increased demands and unique challenges facing rural forces in areas such as Ceredigion, especially during summer months.”
Mr Lake added: “It is widely acknowledged that Welsh police forces have suffered under the present funding formula, and so it is high time that the UK Government either amends the formula accordingly, or devolves the responsibility for policing to the Welsh Government so that they may do so themselves.”
New waste trial launched in Aberystwyth
A NEW trial has been launched in Aberystwyth as part of the Caru Aber campaign, to help keep the town centre clean on waste collection days.
Heavy duty sacks will be placed on Aberystwyth streets on Monday afternoons before the black bag collection on Tuesdays in the following streets; Portland Street, Portland Road, Queen Street, Corporation Street, Eastgate Street, New Street and Cambrian Place.
Black bags should be put in the sacks by 8am on Tuesday mornings for collection. The intention is that the sacks contain the waste until it is collected. The sacks will be retrieved after the waste has been collected to avoid clutter and obstruction on the streets.
Councillor Dafydd Edwards is the Cabinet member responsible for Highways and Environmental Services together with Housing. He said: “We see this trial as a practical and relatively cost effective way of responding to long standing issues relating to domestic waste presentation in Aberystwyth town centre. The sacks will also provide a visible reminder to residents in the town centre on what days to present their black bags.
“The trial forms part of the Caru Aber campaign, and the wider Caru Ceredigion campaign, where the council looks to work with local communities to address issues which are of concern or are important to them.
“This innovative approach is another example of positive proactive action the council is taking. We hope that the residents of the town centre will play their part by making good use of the sacks as this will be the critical factor in measuring the success of the scheme.”
Clean recycling and food waste should continue to be presented on a weekly basis in the containers that the council already provides through clear bags and food caddies.
Ensuring that the right waste is presented in the right way and on the right day will help to make sure that the town’s streets are kept clean and that the waste is contained, managed and treated in the most cost effective and environmentally friendly way as possible.
The sacks were first used in readiness for waste collections on Tuesday 6 August 2019. The initial feedback is positive as they have worked to contain the waste on the streets, which were noticeably cleaner.
This latest initiative is developing on feedback and experience from two other trials undertaken. The success of the trial will be monitored on an ongoing basis and reviewed to reflect the experience which will include looking at ways of engaging all residents.
For more information about the new scheme, please contact the Customer Services Contact Centre on 01545 570 881 or by e-mail on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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