Consultations / Surveys

Survey to increase the Police element of Council Tax

POLICE, CRIME AND VICTIMS' COMMISSIONER (PCVC) PROPOSES TO INCREASE POLICE ELEMENT OF COUNCIL TAX TO MAINTAIN SERVICES

Members of the public are being asked to comment on proposals to increase the amount of Council Tax which goes to the police service, known as the precept. 

Funding for policing is made up of two elements: Government grant, and the policing element of Council Tax, which is called the police precept. The unexpected General Election in December, led to a delay in the announcement of the amount of Government grant for policing in 2020/21.  For 2019-20, the precept was £205.24 per household, or £3.95 a week for Band D properties.  It is proposed to increase the precept by £10 per year (less than 20p per week) for Band D properties, with lower increases for the lower Council Tax Bands and higher increases for the others.  This is in line with the expectation from the Government as set out in the 2020 Police Funding Settlement.  

 Acting Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioner Steve White, who is responsible for the decision, said: “Durham Constabulary is one of the most efficient police force in the country according to HM Inspectorate of Constabulary and Fire and Rescue Services. That’s a consequence of the force’s commitment to innovation and making the very best use of the money available. Together we continue to work hard to find further efficiencies, but this gets harder every year as crime continues to rise.”

 “The funding which the Government gives to us for the policing of Co Durham and Darlington has reduced in real terms by 25% since 2010, and as a consequence there are currently around 380 fewer Police Officers in post than ten years ago, and fewer PCSOs and fewer Police staff.”

 “Under the Government ‘uplift programme’ we aim to have 68 additional officers in place by March 2021, and inevitably it will take time for these officers to be trained to the high standards which local people expect. Funding for year 2 and year 3 of the ‘uplift programme’ is still yet to be decided.”

 “The reality is that with a rise in precept of £10 per property per year, Durham Constabulary is still looking to manage a deficit budget in three years time.  Without an increase the deficit will happen sooner and will therefore affect the forces ability to maintain its efficiency and effectiveness.  I am looking forward to hearing people’s views.”

You can comment on the proposed increase by completing the survey on the Durham Police, Crime and Victims’ Commissioners website www.durham-pcc.gov.uk or directly through to the survey by clicking here or through the links on our social media pages.

The consultation is open until midnight on the 5 February 2020

County Durham Time to Change Hubs Attitude survey

The County Durham Time To Change Hub's 'Mental Health Attitudes Survey' is open to any individual living or working in County Durham, both young people and adults.

The survey is open until 31 December 2019 and the results will help inform the priorities for the future of the County Durham Time To Change Hub and the County Durham mental health anti-stigma campaign group Stamp It Out.

To access the survey, click here: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/HLT255T

Climate Emergency Consultation

In February 2019, Durham County Council declared a Climate Emergency which has committed the Council in making a 60% reduction in its emissions by 2030 and to investigate what further actions are necessary to make the county carbon neutral by 2050.

Officers in the Low Carbon Economy Team have prepared a Climate Emergency Update Report which identifies a range of projects, measures and opportunities that could be implemented and investigated further to help achieve this pledge. 

The Council would like to hear what your views are on climate change and you can have your say by completing the short online survey: http://www.durham.gov.uk/article/22011/Climate-emergency-consultation

The deadline for responses is 5pm on 31 October 2019.

Third Sector Trends Study

Durham University would like you to take part in a 10 year study of the voluntary and community sector which is running across the North of England.

The findings from the study will be used to build a picture of how organisations and groups work, how they get their resources and how they are planning to work in the future.

The research will help inform national and local government, health organisations and charitable foundations so that they make good decisions on how to invest in the activity of the third sector.

The survey takes 20 minutes to complete and can be accessed at

https://durham.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/third-sector-trends-in-the-north-of-england-2019-live-s-2

Recent reports from the study so far can be found at:

https://www.communityfoundation.org.uk/knowledge-and-leadership/third-sector-trends-research/

If you have any questions about the research and/or the questionnaire, please contact Professor Tony Chapman, St Chad’s College, Durham University, 18 North Bailey, DURHAM DH1 3RH or by email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Long Term Empty Property Council Tax Premium consultation

Durham County Council is reviewing their policy relating to council tax charges for empty properties and want your views on proposals which would see the premium charge increased for long term empty properties.

Background

Empty properties can deteriorate rapidly and become a target for vandalism and crime, having a negative effect on the neighbourhood and surrounding area. 

Since April 2013, we have charged a 50% premium on properties that have been unoccupied and unfurnished for more than 2 years unless they were undergoing major repairs. Up to 12 months delay in paying the premium could be allowed so major repairs could be completed. Within six months of being introduced in 2013, 727 properties had been brought back into use. A third of all long-term empty properties are owned by absent landlords.

Following a change in the law in April 2019, we can now charge a larger percentage of premium for these types of houses.

Evidence shows that the premium provides an incentive to the owners of long-term empty properties to bring them back into use and could potentially boost the supply of properties available to rent in the county and help support our housing and homeless strategies.

To find out more and have your say on this consultation, please go to www.durham.gov.uk/consultation and complete the online survey.

The deadline is 5pm on 6 October 2019.