Sheffield & South Yorkshire

Council tax rise prevents South Yorkshire police cuts

South Yorkshire's police authority is increasing council tax bills and dipping into reserves to save front-line police jobs.

The authority has voted to increase its precept by 3.95% and put £11m of reserves into its 2012/13 budget.

It said the move would save 132 posts that would have been axed if it had frozen the precept, in order for it to meet savings targets.

The authority has reserves of £43m and a budget of £251m.

Chairman Charles Perryman said: "By combining our reserves with an increase in council tax, we will now be able to provide more than 130 extra front line policing staff across South Yorkshire next year.

"This will support the authority's long-term strategy of maintaining visible police presence and emergency response times."

Vice chairman Shaun Wright added: "In setting this budget, the authority has recognised the pressures facing South Yorkshire communities, and the importance of maintaining the fight against crime."

Increasing the council tax base will give the authority an extra £2m a year of funding.

If it had frozen the precept it would have been eligible for a one-off council tax freeze grant from the government of £1.5m.

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