TAXPAYERS will be charged more in their next police bill as part of plans to save £8.3million to balance the Cheshire Police budget.

Knutsford residents will see a rise of almost two per cent in the police element, or precept, of their council tax for 2013-14.

As previously reported, Cheshire Police have been under huge pressure for the past three years due to a dramatic drop in Government funding.

Residents in band D homes will pay £153 for police services which equates to an increase of 1.99 per cent or £3.12 on last year.

A recent survey revealed that 80 per cent of residents would be prepared to pay the increase in order to safeguard frontline posts.

Police and Crime Commissioner John Dwyer, pictured right, said: “I was overwhelmed by the support shown by the people I spoke to who said that they did not think that cuts should be applied to policing.

“Unfortunately, these are difficult times for all public sector services and savings must be found.

“I am determined though, that cuts will not come from the frontline.

“Following a managed process of the reduction of 37 officers through retirement and leavers, the budget will allow for the recruitment of 21 new recruits next year.

“This will mean that we do not face a problem further down the line when we have no young in-service officers coming up through the ranks.

“Unfortunately, there will also be a loss of 35 police staff posts.”

After grants have been transferred to the commissioner’s budget, such as PCSO funding, the total budget will be £205m compared to £207m in 2012.