The Hertfordshire police precept for council tax is set to be frozen following a U-turn on a planned increase of 3.4%.

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David Lloyd, police and crime commissioner for Hertfordshire, said the force needs to save about £30 million by 2018.

He had proposed to increase the police precept for the tax year beginning in April by 3.4% – an extra 10p a week for a Band D property.

He said the same increase could be applied to 2015/16 as well.

But last Thursday, Mr Lloyd said: “Now, due to careful financial planning and a better than expected overall settlement from central government, I am pleased to confirm my intention to freeze policing taxes for the fourth year running.

“In doing so, I am confident the future of Hertfordshire’s local policing model can be safeguarded.

“I will continue to relentlessly search for the savings which need to be made to protect the frontline and I may need to look again at the precept next year.”

Commissioner Lloyd’s counter-part in Cambridgeshire, Sir Graham Bright, has recommended an increase of 1.9% for his force’s precept, meaning an average Band D household in Cambridgeshire will be paying 6p per week extra.

As reported in the Crow last week, Royston Town Council has voted to increase it’s precept by 5.92 per cent, or five pence per week for a Band D property, to fund the purchase of Market Hill in the town.

Meanwhile, a £1.95 million grant from the Government will boost collaboration plans between Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire police forces.

The successful bid to the Home Office’s Innovation Fund was announced last week and will support the forces’ plans to bring together their operational and organisational support services, saving a predicted £23 million over four years.

Commissioner Lloyd said: “The grant will help find technological solutions that will help police work more efficiently. In turn this will help protect local policing while help find the savings we need to make.”

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