HOUSEHOLDS are being asked for their views on a policing tax rise of up to £2 per month.

Cheshire’s police and crime commissioner David Keane is asking residents and businesses for their views on how much council tax they pay towards local policing.

An online consultation asks whether people would be willing to support up to a maximum of £2 per month increase in the policing precept for the average band D household.

There will also be a number of roadshows held across Cheshire where residents can talk to the commissioner directly – including Middlewich on January 17 and Northwich on January 24.

Mr Keane said: "Over the last decade police funding has been subject to stringent funding cuts from central government.

"This has seen the policing budget in Cheshire decrease in real-terms year-on-year since 2010.

"In a decade where demand on policing has increased by one third, and become increasingly complex, the government’s programme of austerity has meant that Cheshire has suffered a big decrease in police officers, support staff posts and other essential resources as we’ve struggled with more than £60 million of real term cuts.

“At £200.44, the police element of band D council tax in Cheshire is currently the ninth lowest in the country.

"Thanks to the support of local residents in last year’s policing precept, we have delivered on our promise of locally recruiting 43 officers in the last nine months.

“We are also expecting to see some of the police officer posts, of the circa 21,000 that have been lost over the last decade, start to be replaced by the government funded national uplift programme.

"Cheshire is expecting to see 30 of these officers this year which will start to help us reverse the effects of austerity on policing but while these officers may be funded, there appears no protection for the current budget and for current officer numbers in Cheshire to be maintained.

“Therefore, the chief constable and I are asking residents and businesses in Cheshire if they are willing to support up to an extra £2 per month increase for the average band D household. This will enable the chief constable to invest in a number of areas which are operational threats for Cheshire Police including county lines, major crime and modern slavery and human trafficking.”

Public consultations run at Morrisons Middlewich from 2pm to 4pm on Friday, January 17, and Asda Barons Quay from 2pm to 4pm on Friday, January 24.

You can also complete the survey online here before it closes on Sunday, January 26.