WILTSHIRE Police and Crime Commissioner Angus Macpherson is consulting on a proposed increase in the police and crime element of this year’s council tax.

He is considering an increase in the precept of £3.15 a year for a band D property.

It would help reduce the impact of significant government grant reductions on policing and crime services in Wiltshire and Swindon.

The increase would provide Mr Macpherson an additional £740,000 for 2014-15.

It would still be the lowest council tax rate for police and crime services in the South West, he said.

Looking ahead three years to 2016-17, a proposed increase of £3.15 a year would reduce the potential funding shortfall by £2.3 million, meaning savings of £12.5m, rather than £14.8m, would be required. Since the start of the austerity period, savings of more than £10 million have already been made.

Mr Macpherson said: “We have been reviewing the budget very carefully and it is clear that as central government funding continues to reduce more and more, we have to look at a small increase in the police and crime element of council tax.

“The council tax rate for policing and crime services in our area has not increased for the past three years.

“I do believe people will be willing to pay just a little bit more a year towards sustaining high quality policing and crime services in the county, especially neighbourhood policing.

The current rate of police and crime council tax for an average band D home in Wiltshire and Swindon is £157.77. This would increase to £160.92 under the proposal.

The consultation runs until Monday, February 3.

For more information or to comment on the plans, visit www.wiltshire-pcc.gov.uk.