Although our economy has improved since I was first elected in 2012, we can’t be complacent about the future. That’s why as Police and Crime Commissioner, I’ve used my experience of running my own business and managing budgets, to ensure every penny of hardworking taxpayers’ money is spent wisely. This is a big responsibility and one I take very seriously with an overall budget of £192.5m to look after.
I took the difficult decision earlier this year to ask Cheshire taxpayers to back my 3.2% increase in the council tax precept. My judgement, after local consultation, was that local residents would support an extra 10p per week to protect the policing service in Cheshire and meet both local and national security threats.
But I’m not just asking for money. Working with the Chief Constable, we’ve undertaken an ongoing ‘root and branch review’ of policing in Cheshire. This work establishes future budgeting priorities to ensure investment is directed to frontline policing whilst achieving financial savings to meet the challenges all public sector organisations face.
Since 2013 the Constabulary have saved some £21.5m but there’s more to do. As Police and Crime Commissioner I’ll continue to review the business processes and expenditure of the Constabulary so they are fit for the future and work with neighbouring forces and other agencies to drive down the costs of buying products and services to achieve value for money.