Public to have say on West force's budget
People living in Somerset are being urged to have their say on how much they are prepared to pay towards policing next year.
Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens are carrying out a consultation on the policing part of council tax bills, to ensure the views of residents are considered when making her decision regarding next year's budget.
"It's really important residents tell me what they would be prepared to contribute towards policing," she said.
"For the past three years the policing part of the council tax has been frozen. Now I have the choice to freeze again and put 200 posts at risk, to increase by up to 2%, costing the average resident £3.36 extra a year, or go higher and risk a referendum. These are difficult decisions and I need to be sure that I have heard from as many local people as possible before I make them.
"The constabulary has been working hard on what the impact of any spending cuts could look like.
"We already know that, if the council tax is frozen, residents will see a reduction in police officers and staff and this impact is bound to be felt in communities.
"There is a balancing act to do between making sure the constabulary are sufficiently resourced to concentrate on the things that matter to you and not burdening already over-stretched residents with higher household bills."
The consultation, until November 15, involves an online questionnaire at consultation.avonandsomerset. police.uk
Copies will also be sent to local authority and other public buildings, including libraries.
For more details, or to request a copy of the survey, call 01275 816377.