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Budget Report to the Police and Crime Panel – 6 February 2023

1. Introduction and Background

As detailed in the Police Reform and Social Responsibility Act 2011, the Police and Crime Commissioner has a duty to hold the Police Fund, set a budget and propose a precept following consultation.

The attached report sets out in detail the Commissioners revenue and capital budget and precept proposals for 2023-24, including the medium term financial plan and position on reserves.

The panel exercised their right to veto the original budget and precept proposal in 2022/23.  It is hoped that the extensive information provided in the attached report and the engagement and consultation that has taken place regarding the budget and precept for 2023/24 will assure members of the panel and that they will support the Commissioners proposals for the coming financial year.

2. Executive Summary

Further details on the financial implications and construct of the budget are included in the attached report.  The total net budget for 2023/24 is £125.997m, which equates to an increase of £4.559m or 3.75% from 2022/23.  This will be funded from core government grant, reserves and precept income based on an increase of £14 on a band D equivalent property.  The Commissioner supports the budget now proposed which will provide the resources that will strengthen, stabilise and sustain investments made in previous years, to deliver tangible benefits to policing services in Warwickshire.

The final budget will need to incorporate any further announcements made in the final police funding settlement which is due in late January/early February 2023.  No further changes are anticipated but any variations will be offset through the transfer to or from reserves, if they are forthcoming.

The Commissioners annual budget is sound and also outlines a sustainable medium term financial plan.  He has consulted the Chief Constable about the proposal to increase the council tax and the Chief Constable has confirmed that these budget and precept proposals are sufficient to deliver operational policing in Warwickshire which will have due regard to the Police and Crime Plan and include the agreed benefits outlined in the report.

3. Budget Making Process

The budget process is as follows:

  1. The Commissioner to make a determination of the budget required for 2023/2024, taking into account the information within this report.
  2. The Commissioner to present budget proposals to the Police and Crime Panel by the 1st February 2023, and for the Police and Crime Panel to consider those proposals and make a report to the Commissioner by the 8th February 2023. In Warwickshire the Police and Crime Panel are due to meet on the 6th February 2023.
  3. In the event that the Panel supports the proposals the Commissioner will make a formal decision, and communicate this to the precepting authorities in order to collect the Council Tax contributions.
  4. In the event that the Panel vetoes the proposals they must write to the Commissioner setting out the reasons why, and the Commissioner must propose a new budget to the Panel, setting out a clear rationale. This will be the final budget, although the Panel can make known their support or otherwise. This part of the process has a number of set deadlines, with the final budget and precept having to be set by the 1st March 2023.

4. Recommendation

That the Panel support the Commissioner’s budget and precept proposals for 2023-24.