Stephen Mold, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire, has welcomed yesterday’s police budget announcement and said it appears that the government is starting to listen to the concerns raised by him and other Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) about the funding issues they’re facing.
It was announced in parliament that more money is available for counter terrorism and public protection in the 2018/19 police grant settlement, but police forces across the country are told to expect a flat cash budget. However, PCCs have now been given more flexibility to raise funds locally following an increase in the amount they can raise through the council tax precept.
Stephen Mold, Police and Crime Commissioner for Northamptonshire, said:
“We are working through the details to establish exactly how much our budget will be for 2018/19 – but Nick Hurd, the Home Office Minister has made it clear that it’s a flat cash budget – which basically means that we won’t be getting any extra money from central government next year. However, I do feel the government is starting to listen to the concerns we have shared about funding pressures.
“I recognise that there is only a finite amount available from central funds, and although I’m not completely satisfied with our budget allocation, I do welcome the extra flexibility we’ve been given locally for the option to increase the money raised through the council tax precept, which we didn’t have before.
“Although we’ve been advised of the police grant for 2018/19, I am now looking forward to a conclusion of the fairer funding formula review too. I am very hopeful this will yield a better outcome for Northamptonshire in the long term. We currently get a raw deal for money per head of population in comparison to other police forces of a similar size – who receive more cash per person than we do. This definitely needs to be looked at.
“Over the next few weeks, I will work closely with the Chief Constable to discuss the future priorities for the Force, how we can best meet demands, and manage the increasing year on year costs to run the Force, as well as pay for any future police pay rises from our existing budget.
“We may conclude that a rise in the council tax precept is necessary, but this has not yet been decided. However, the people of Northamptonshire can be sure that we will spend every penny we receive as wisely as possible.”