More Money for Police? – “Raise your own Counciltax!”

This is a note to the residents and constituents of Wednesfield North.

Recently I received a newsletter from the West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner Mr David Jamieson . I have reproduced it here for you. It is an explanation as to why your Counciltax  for Policing in the West Midlands will rise. Please read the statement.

From the Police and Crime Commissioner Mr David Jamieson –  “After the Policing Minister had opened the newly refurbished Lloyd House in November last year he set off back to London by train.

During his visit Nick Hurd had given me a very strong reason to be optimistic. Without committing to any figures, the impression he gave was that, after years of cuts, more money was finally on its way to our force.

“Would 2018 be the first year in almost a decade that the force doesn’t have to reduce the number of coppers?” I thought to myself.

This looked like very good news. Since 2010 we have seen our spending power reduced by £145 million and we have 2000 fewer officers keeping you safe in the region. With the problem of terrorism an increasing threat, our force is becoming seriously stretched.

There are fewer officers able to patrol the beat. Fewer officers who can make sure your family is kept safe.

So you can imagine how disappointed I was to learn, less than one month later, that West Midlands Police would not be given any extra money by the government.  Instead, the buck for raising funds was passed to you.

If you want more money for policing, we were told, you’ll have to raise your own council tax.

So here is my choice. Reluctantly raise council tax and reduce the speed at which the force shrinks or leave the local tax unchanged and watch crime rise.

I am extremely proud of the brave officers at West Midlands Police. The organisation is made up of thousands of hard working individuals. They put their lives on the line 365 days a year to keep us safe. For that I am extremely grateful. But their job is becoming increasingly challenging. Your safety, and the safety of your families, is precious and I will not see it taken for granted.

So here is my proposal. In line with the government’s plans, we should raise council tax for a typical household by £12 a year. That’s £1 per month. This will reduce the impact of central government cuts. If we do this, I can protect around 190 officers at West Midlands Police. Any one of those 190 officers could be the officer who prevents your home from being burgled or your son or daughter from being mugged as they travel home on the bus.

At a time when families are working harder than ever for smaller and smaller pay packets, the thought of raising taxes, even by a small amount, goes against my instinct. The people of the West Midlands are being squeezed enough. But on this occasion I hope you’ll understand that your safety and that of your family must not be compromised.”

If any Wednesfield North resident would like to make a comment on this statement and the information it contains…perhaps you can email me on –

Phil Bateman

Phil Bateman is Married to Mary and lives in Wednesfield North. He was a long serving local politician having served previously on the now defunct West Midlands County Council... read more