DOUBTS over the future of a new funding deal for Lincolnshire Police
DOUBTS over the future of a new funding deal for Lincolnshire Police have been raised with reports claiming the Government has scrapped a grant review.
The Government had planned to review the police funding formula, which determines how the national budget is distributed across the various forces throughout England and Wales, last year.
But a series of setbacks delayed the appraisal until after the election and media are reporting it has now been shelved – though the Home Office denies that claim.
A decision to abandon the review could lead to a shortfall of at least £3million this year and £6million next year for Lincolnshire Police.
Police and Crime Commissioner Marc Jones has lobbied since he came into office a year ago for a sustainable funding deal for Lincolnshire and said he is “very disappointed” if the news is true.
The county currently receives the third lowest amount of central Government funding per head of population at just £88 – with local forces such as Nottinghamshire receiving £119 and Humberside £132.
HMIC concluded in its recent report that the force “provides a good policing service to the communities of Lincolnshire at one of the lowest costs per head of population in England and Wales” and there are “very few opportunities available for making further efficiency savings”.
“If, as it appears, a review has been delayed indefinitely then that would be very disappointing news,” said Mr Jones.
“I have agreed to spend most of our budget reserve, some £4 million, to ensure services are protected this year. Next year we will not be able to repeat this use of reserves as they simply won’t be there.
“I remain hopeful that the Government will find ways to increase the funding for Lincolnshire and I believe all of the county’s MPs are squarely behind our call for a fair and sustainable level of funding for our communities.
“We are facing a shortfall of around £3million next year and £6million year on year after that, plus of course inflationary costs which are unknown. Given the major steps we have already taken to improve the force’s efficiency and effectiveness, it’s hard to see how we can find those savings without effecting front line services or finding an alternative way of funding the shortfall.
“My fight for a reasonable and sustainable deal for Lincolnshire will continue.”
For more information contact Jon Grubb on 07780 953575 or at email@example.com.