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Avon and Somerset's unfair funding set to be replaced

Sue on Portishead Highstreet

PCC Sue Mountstevens

A funding formula which has seen Avon and Somerset lose out on £110 million it is assessed to need is to be overhauled, the Government has announced.

Ministers say they want to replace the “out-of-date” funding model with a simplified version. They will consult on proposals to tie the sums given to police forces in England and Wales to factors such as the size of an area’s population.

Avon and Somerset Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens welcomes the announcement, she said: “I’m delighted to learn that the Government is finally looking at the way police funding is allocated. This is something that I and my predecessors in the Police Authority have continued to raise with Ministers as it causes significant shortfalls for residents.

“We’ve long campaigned against the out-dated method which has seen Avon and Somerset lose out on £110 million it is assessed to need since its implementation in 2006. As we face hard financial choices about how to prioritise reducing and finite resources, we are forced to look harder and cut deeper than others who have fared better from the funding model. This has an adverse impact on police numbers and means that we have 240 fewer officers than average for the size of population.

“It’s not clear yet how the new police funding formula will look, we are working our way through the consultation document and will respond by September. However I hope to see a new system which takes into account the assessed needs of the area, its population and is implemented in full without lengthy transitional arrangements.”

The Home Office plans to bring in the new formula “as soon as it is appropriate”. It is seeking views on what “transitional arrangements” would be needed to put the reform in place in the next financial year.

Posted on Thursday 23rd July 2015
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