Protecting the frontline ‘priority’ for Commissioner
December 20th, 2013
Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner is proposing to put forward a modest increase in the policing part of council tax to protect the front line, after the Cambridgeshire force received £1.2m less than expected in police grant for 2014/15.
The 7 pence per week increase would mean that the frontline continues to be protected.
Significant savings had been made to balance the 2014/15 budget, but yesterday’s grant settlement announcement revealed that forces, including Cambridgeshire, had been ‘top sliced’ to fund national initiatives.
Sir Graham said: “We already have one of the lowest cost and most productive police workforces in the country with the highest percentage of officers on frontline duties.
“Despite having already made savings of £4.9m within the current year, we have managed to increase the number of police officers working on local policing from 988.5 at the start of the year to 998 at the start of this coming year.
“I’ve been listening to what the public have told me. They want to see officers out and about in their communities, keeping them safe. Protecting the frontline is priority for me and I have always said that.
“I needed to listen to what people have told me, balancing their expectations of police visibility with affordability of tax increases. My budget is on the basis that I have listened to what people have told me, balancing their expectations of feet on the street with affordability of tax increases.”
If accepted, the precept will nominally provide a £131.5m budget for policing in 2014/15. This will allow Sir Graham to continue to deliver against his pledges as set out in the Police and Crime Plan.
The Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) is Cambridgeshire’s Police and Crime Commissioner’s key financial planning document.
The MTFP identifies:-
- the revenue budget requirement for the next financial year and the forecasts for the following three years,
- how the budget requirement is financed,
- how difficult budget settlements in the next few years will be addressed whilst still protecting the number of officers, especially neighbourhood policing, and
- future funding changes and risks.
The draft Medium Term Financial Plan (MTFP) was discussed at the 19th December, 2013 Business Coordination Board. It is very important to note that this was a draft plan based upon a forecast reduction in the government grant settlement of -3.3%. In other words the amount that we thought that the government would reduce the money that they give us for the following year. The settlement was announced by the government on 18th December, 2013 and the actual reduction is significantly greater, at -5%. Not only will this bigger reduction have an impact upon our plans for next year, they will also have an impact in future years. We are now working through what changes are required.
The Commissioner’s MTFP can be viewed here