Coventry & Warwickshire

Opinions wanted on Warwickshire policing costs

Warwickshire tax-payers are being asked how much they would be willing to pay towards policing.

The county's police force, one of the smallest in the country, is looking to make savings of more than £20m.

It has announced plans to sell off its headquarters and has said 450 jobs could go to meet the savings target.

Tax payers are being asked to fill in an online survey to determine if they are willing to meet some of the savings target through a council tax increase.

'Further income'

Currently the level of the police council tax for an average property is £174.10 a year.

The police authority said an increase of £5 a year would generate a further income of £129,000 per year.

Chairman Ian Francis said the force had done a "fantastic" job over the last few months to identify over £13m of savings, from a budget of £100m, which he said would not affect levels of service.

"However, the challenge presented by the government's financial settlement for the police means that the additional savings we will be required to find will inevitably impact on services to the public.

"Consequently we consider that we must consult the public to see whether people are prepared to pay more council tax to avoid service reductions," he said.

The survey can be found on the Police Authority website and the results will be considered on 23 February at the authority's budget meeting.

"We would encourage everyone to let us know their views," Mr Francis said.

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