PCC Marc Jones provides a statement about provisonal police funding settlement
The Government’s announcement of the provisional policing funding settlement is a significant step in delivering sustainable funding for Lincolnshire Police. It is heartening that through the efforts of my team and local MPs we, along with our counterparts elsewhere in the country, have made a persuasive case for additional funding to tackle the growing demands and increasing complexity of policing.
In turn the Home Office have successfully made the case to a hard-pressed Treasury for additional funding to tackle of terrorism, serious and organised crime, as well as local policing priorities and for that I am grateful.
It is recognised that Lincolnshire is negatively affected by the current national funding formula and vital work continues with Government to address this fundamental problem. Without that change we will still face the challenge of delivering the best possible service across a vast area on less money per head of population that almost anywhere in the UK. I remain optimistic the Government understands the need for this change and will continue to work to delivering a solution following the spending review in 2019/20.
We have seen in recent years a move away from increasing taxes from the centre, such as fuel duty and income tax, to fund local services and instead have seen more flexibility for locally accountable bodies such as councils and PCCs to engage directly with residents to deliver services through council tax contributions. I would never seek to burden hard working residents with additional costs without clear justification but I do feel that this more transparent approach is preferable to a central government down model. This way we all get a say on how much we are prepared to pay and what service we expect in return. It gives greater control to local communities.
This year I have been given the flexibility to consult the public on raising the policing element of council tax by 50p a week (on a band D property). The vast majority of homes in Lincolnshire are lower council tax bands A-C and so would pay even less than that figure if the public supported the increase.
I have launched my crime and policing survey 2018 and would urge all residents to have their say on fear of crime, experience of crime and the costs of tackling crime. Your views really do matter and will shape the service you receive in the months to come.
There remains a challenge of presenting a balanced budget for next year but I am confident this can be achieved whilst delivering a strong level of service to the public. I will be working with the Chief Constable to present a proposed budget to the police and crime panel in the New Year.
Overall, I welcome the settlement, welcome the localisation of the funding of our local services and look optimistically to the future when I hope the funding formula will finally be replaced with one that delivers for the people of Lincolnshire.
I will continue to work closely with the Chief Constable to ensure the force strives to be ever more efficient, effective and responsive in delivering safe communities across our county.
To take part in the survey please go to https://lincolnshirecrimeandpolicingsurvey2018.q uestionpro.com/