ANDY Burnham is asking Greater Manchester taxpayers for at least £10 more a year to help fund the police – but says that GMP will still need to cut costs. 

The mayor wants to raise this part of the council tax bill by the full amount allowed, increasing the total police precept for Band A properties to £162.20 next year.

It comes months after the force was lifted from special measures following a damning report in late 2020 in which inspectors identified serious failings. Mr Burnham did not propose raising the police precept immediately after the inspection report, saying ‘rewarding failure’ would send the wrong message.

However, last year, the police precept was increased by nearly 5 pc with the promise of improving response times to 999 and 101 calls. Now, the maximum increase of £15 for Band D properties has been proposed, starting from April.

This works out as £10 more for Band A households, which accounts for the largest portion of properties in Greater Manchester. Everyone in the city-region would see this part of the council tax bill rise by 6.57 pc, if approved.

The money will be used to set up dedicated Neighbourhood Crime Teams in each district to proactively tackle and investigate burglary, robbery and vehicle crime, respond to 101 and 999 calls faster and investigate crimes quicker. An announcement about any increases to the other council tax precepts set by the Greater Manchester mayor is expected to be made later this month.

Former Leigh MP Mr Burnham said that GMP will still need to make savings next year because the government is not giving the force enough money to cover the impact of inflation. But the government said Greater Manchester will get £23.5m more.

He said: “What I’m asking local council taxpayers to do here is going to be tough amidst a cost of living crisis. It’s not something I want to do but it is the only way we can afford the quality of police service we need to keep us safe.

“The government has not given us an inflation-proofed police grant increase and that means, even if the police precept is set at the maximum allowed of £15 per year for a Band D property, GMP will still need to make efficiencies Anything lower than that will mean real cuts to our police service and risks putting all the improvements GMP have made in reverse.

“All police forces in the country are facing the same challenges which is why most of the Police and Crime Commissioners are looking to do the same as I am. Keeping the public of Greater Manchester safe is my priority and it is vital that GMP have the resources they need to do that.”

Newly-appointed deputy mayor for policing, crime and criminal justice, Kate Green, added: “We’ve listened to the public who have told us they want the police to be more visible in their neighbourhoods and to tackle the everyday crimes that blight communities.

“It’s therefore crucial that GMP has the officer numbers and other resources to enable them do the job you expect them to do. I hope that through this consultation process, the public will be supportive of our proposals.”

A government spokesperson said: “The government has honoured the commitments set out at Spending Review 2021 to increase the funding available to police forces in order to maintain the additional 20,000 officers recruited through the Police Uplift Programme.

“Greater Manchester Police will receive up to £738.6m in 2023-24, an increase of up to £23.5m compared to 2022-23. Assuming full take up of council tax precept flexibility, overall police funding available to Police and Crime Commissioners will increase by up to £523m next year.”

The public can respond to the police precept consultation online by visiting by January 25. The final precept needs to be agreed by the Greater Manchester Police, Fire and Crime Panel, which is made up of councillors from each of the 10 councils and is chaired by a Labour councillor.