The latest financial settlement
Policing Minister Nick Hurd revealed the latest financial settlement for Police and Crime Commissioner’s across the country, with next year’s Central Grant funding allocation to Lancashire increasing by £6.8m. Whilst the Commissioner welcomes any additional grant, it does not even cover the increase to employer pension contributions for policing, announced in September.
The real world consequences of dealing with this pensions deficit is forecast to cost Lancashire Constabulary around £7.1m per year from 19/20 – the equivalent to over 150 police officers.
The Government also announced greater flexibility for increasing the Council Tax precept which contributes to police funding, up to £24 a year on a Band D equivalent property.
The Policing Minister recognised that the police service has met every requirement he set in the 2018/19 settlement to secure the funding arrangement made for 2019/20, including £120m of savings nationally.
Clive Grunshaw, Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner said:
“Through this announcement the Government has once again failed to provide additional money towards front line policing, with any additional money from central Government covering the costs of the unfunded increase in police pensions, which undermined all previous planned budget assumptions.
“Once again the Government has passed the buck onto council tax payers and failed to address the concerns raised up and down the country after eight years of budget cuts, removing £84m – equivalent to over 25% of the budget in 2010/11 – from policing in Lancashire with a further £18m still to find over the next few years.
“The ability to invest in our policing teams and meet the pressures on the service is completely reliant on raising Council Tax by the highest amount we can. The Government know this and once again are failing to be honest with the public, failing to address the actual cause which is years of austerity in policing.
“This announcement, whilst on the face of it a step in the right direction, doesn’t come close to addressing the issues faced by Lancashire police after cutting too far and too fast for the last seven years.”