Continue We want you to get the most out of using this website, which is why we and our partners use cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to receive these cookies. You can find out more about how we use cookies here.

Monday, 25 May 2015

Subscriptions  |  evouchers  |  Jobs  |  Property  |  Motors  |  Travel  |  Dating  |  Family Notices

Cumbria Police boss fears force may have to merge as budget plea rejected

PROPOSALS to increase the police’s budget have been knocked back by Cumbria County Councillors – putting the force at risk of merger, it has been claimed.


Yesterday’s meeting of Cumbria County Council’s police and crime panel rejected plans which would have seen the police share of council tax increase by 1.93 per cent – the equivalent of £3.96 per year for a band D property.

The panel voted against the proposed increase eight to three. A decrease in crime with a reduced workforce was cited as one of the key reasons.

However, Cumbria police receives around 25 per cent of its budget through a Home Office policy known as “damping” which is under review. Police fear Cumbria could lose millions within two years if the funding formula is changed.

Richard Rhodes, police and crime commissioner for Cumbria, fears should the damping funding be withdrawn, Cumbria would be a prime candidate for a force merger.

He told the panel: “There is no speculation the government are going to review police funding.

“There are talks of mergers and one very simple way the government could force a merger would be to heavily reduce damping, and my office has advised you of that risk.

“The proposal in front of you could reduce that risk.”

The police and crime commissioners’ executive panel is due to meet on Monday, where the force budget is set to be discussed by Cumbria’s top officers.

Councillor Celia Tibble, chairwoman of the panel, voted in favour of the proposals.

She said: “I’m very concerned about the risk, as with other blue light services, that we are going to be penned in with North West as the ambulance service has.

“I’ve big concerns for Cumbria that we will lose our identity.”

Justifying the decision to reject the proposals, Councillor David Wilson said: “One of the reasons we are rejecting this proposal is mainly the reduction of crime in the county. Mr Rhodes is doing well.”

Mr Rhodes declined to comment following the meeting.

Have your say

Be the first to comment on this article!

Make your comment

Your name

Your Email

Your Town/City

Your comment


North West Evening Mail What's on search

Powered by

Hot Jobs

Loading latest hot jobs...
Powered by Zoopla.co.uk

Featured companies

Searching for featured companies...
Search for:


Do you back a call for legal highs to be banned?



Show Result

Resource Cumbria

The Forum

F. Dickinson footwear

Homes and gardens 22

To save our contact details direct to your smartphone simply scan this QR code

North West Evening Mail

Evening Mail Going Out