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Labour candidate calls for answers on council tax rise at the same time as police front desk closure in Lichfield city centre is confirmed

A Labour candidate at the forthcoming local elections has called on Staffordshire Police to justify a decision to hike council tax while closing front desk services in Lichfield city centre.

The force has confirmed it will axe the public-facing facility which has been based at Lichfield District Council House since the relocation of the main police station to Eastern Avenue.

Staffordshire Police said it would now only retain three front desk facilities across the county in response to changing trends, with more residents now choosing to use online tools or the 101 phone number.

Phil Sutcliffe
Phil Sutcliffe

But Phil Sutcliffe, who will represent Labour in the Chadsmead ward in May’s local elections, said he had “deep concern” over the changes.

“At the moment there is such a focus nationally on crime prevention, local policing and cutting crime rates,” he said. “Locally we are facing a 12.5% hike in council Ttax charges from the Police and Crime Commissioner.

“We’d expect services to be improving from this but what we are facing is even more cuts.

“How can these service cuts be justified as we are facing increased costs locally and how will this improve public safety and confidence in the police and local public bodies?

“The cuts are badly thought out and do nothing to support local communities and safer streets.”

Chief Inspector Mark Smith, neighbourhood policing team commander for Lichfield, said there were still ways for members of the public to interact with frontline staff.

“In Lichfield city centre police share accommodation with the local authority and provide drop-in surgeries in the council building,” he said.

“Each ward area has allocated local officers and PCSOs who hold engagement meetings every month. These are advertised locally and through the new on line services, so people can have face to face meetings with their neighbourhood team for support and advice.”

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1 Comment

  1. Don Palmer

    26th March, 2019 at 5:19 pm

    I though the Tories manifesto told us there would be “No Tax rises, the Conservative Party is the Party of low Taxes”.
    So much for that then…..

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