Daniel Zeichner, Member of Parliament for Cambridge, has reacted to Government statements on Local Council and Police financing today with criticism for its failure to respond to the growing challenges caused by real term funding cuts since 2010.
In the House of Commons, the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire MP, and Minister of State for Policing and the Fire Service and Minister for London, Nick Hurd MP, delivered provisional statements on the local government finance settlement today (Thursday 13 December). The statements claimed increased spending, however when dissected barely covered the costs of increasing pressures and public inflation.
Daniel Zeichner MP said: “Today’s statements by the Government on Local Council and Policing do nothing to address the crisis in financing local services and will not reassure local people concerned about their personal security. The Ministers opened their statements by saying they recognised the difficult and growing demands on our local councils and police forces, praising them for their commitment to local communities.They then failed to deliver the resources needed”
“Since 2010, this country has seen £2.7 billion in cuts to policing, leaving huge blackholes and a reduction of police officers for forces up and down the country. Cambridgeshire alone has lost 137 police officers and 83 PCSO’s despite the fact that violent crime has skyrocketed and cases are increasingly complicated. The Government can’t just offer warm words and expect that to be enough. It needs to put its money where its mouth is and deliver the vital cash injection our police forces and local councils vitally need.”
The headline opening statement by the Secretary of State for Housing, Communities and Local Government, James Brokenshire MP, was that Local Councils will see an increase of core funding from £45.1 billion to £46.4 billion, equating to a 2.8% rise. Mr Zeichner has stated that this will “barely cover the cost of inflation” that was marked at 2.5% this summer.
The Government announced that local Police and Crime Commissioners would be given new powers to increase local tax revenue from £1 per month, per household to £2, effectively cutting core funding and unfairly shifting the cost onto local tax payers.