People in Lichfield and Burntwood are being invited to have their say on the future of funding for police and fire services.

Staffordshire Commissioner Matthew Ellis said it was important the decision was based on the views of residents from across the county.

Matthew Ellis

He said that the current financial climate meant the public needed to speak out on the issue.

“I try hard to keep the cost to local taxpayers down. Since I first set the local tax for policing in 2013, Staffordshire and Stoke-on-Trent have seen the second smallest increase of all 43 police force areas nationally.

“Now more than ever, when people have been furloughed and it is so difficult for everyone, it is not the time to ask the public for as much as you possibly can, just because you may have the power to do so.

“People in Staffordshire have already paid for a boost in police officers over the last few years, which we have seen and felt the benefit of in numbers and services.

“This has been unprecedented year because of COVID-19.

“While public services have been heroic in their efforts, the ongoing effects of the virus and catastrophic impact on businesses, jobs and livelihoods means getting the balance right, between investing in services and being clear that people are hurting financially, is vital.

“I really need to hear the public’s views on this and would encourage everyone to have their say and make their voices heard on the three available options in the survey.

“I am listening and I’m relying on people to let me know how they feel.”

Staffordshire Commissioner Matthew Ellis

A final decision will be made when the Commissioner recommends figures to the Police, Fire and Crime Panel in February.

The survey is available until 18th January here.

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