Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones told councillors on the Lincolnshire Police and Crime Panel today that the financial settlement for police forces would usually be announced at the beginning of December, enabling consultation on things such as council tax rises to be completed by February.
However, due to the national campaign now taking place, Lincolnshire Police could be asking residents about their priorities and appetite to pay extra without knowing what it will be getting from higher up.
Marc Jones said: “The challenge is if we don’t find out how much money we’re going to get from national government until the new year, it makes those timescales exceedingly tight.
“We could be in the position of consulting on council tax increases without knowing how much money we’re going to get from national government which is not ideal.”
Lincolnshire Police faces a shortfall of £6.5 million and although Mr Jones has been using reserves to support the gap previously this was no longer possible.
The deficit equates to a 16% rise in the police’s part of the precept, however, at this stage council tax hikes for the next financial year are capped at 2%.
Unless additional funding can be brought in, this could mean further staff reductions.
“So, we’re waiting to see what the new government’s approach will be to Council Tax capping and funding national contributions,” said Mr Jones.
“We need to know all of that before we can really look forward to what budget we’ve got.”