LETTER OF THE WEEK: PCSO plans would be extra tax on our smaller towns

So the police and crime commissioner suggests Northamptonshire residents could fund a police community support officer to the tune of £37,000 a year.

Thursday, 28th December 2017, 12:29 pm
Updated Thursday, 28th December 2017, 12:34 pm
Police PCSO Stock SUS-150618-150300001

Let’s paint the vulgar picture.

This is about precepting town and parish councils for a service which residents already pay for in council tax payments.

On many occasions police are not present at town council meetings and this has become even more apparent since Mr Mold took over.

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In my view this is a pre-determined tactic to gain additional funding by making rural voices loud and clear that they have no police cover and therefore taking the cost is more palatable.

Town councils such as my own in Desborough already fund road improvements and leisure facilities (such as the new skatepark) via the enforced precept.

So alongside Mr Mold’s suggestion we can combine the running of libraries likely to be delegated by Northamptonshire County Council also to town councils.

There are several questions that should be answered before any town council is precepted as they are duty bound to provide value for money.

So you would expect local town councillors to be fully supportive of residents’ views through a consultation before any decision on libraries or police officers is made.

Yet they roll over and have their tummies tickled through the common denominator of Conservative membership.

So, Northamptonshire County Council and the commissioner propose that precepted towns are taxed – while unprecepted towns, such as Kettering – benefit from a nice library and potentially an increase in hours of police coverage.

Yes, crime is increasing.

Yes, literacy levels are falling.

But central government’s money tree for a charitable donation to the DUP to save one job; the county council and Kettering Council’s zero per cent council tax increases in recent years to protect MPs’ positions, while at the same time creating vanity projects such as the One Angel Square building, not to mention the new police headquarters in Kettering, tell you all you need to know.

We, the members of the public, already pay for libraries and policing.

If you disagree with “the way things are done around here” – open your mind and vote for change!

Kevin O’Brien