Cautious Optimism over Police Funding Formula Review

Dorset PCC Martyn Underhill is pleased with the Government’s initial proposals following the recent consultation over the funding formula used to allocate grant funding to police forces in England and Wales.

Cautious Optimism over Police Funding Formula Review

The Commissioner has long campaigned for a fairer funding deal from central government for Dorset Police, with the current formula in use being outdated, unfair and not fit for purpose.

He is therefore glad that a number of elements from the Dorset submission to the consultation appear to have been included in the initial proposals being put forward by the Government to update the national formula. This includes removal of the flawed method used to recognise each force area’s ability to raise money through council tax, but retention of the impact of the density of bars in a particular location.

Dorset PCC Martyn Underhill said: “I am encouraged by the initial proposals being put forward by the Government in relation to police funding nationally and, whilst the consultation remains ongoing, this potentially looks like a much fairer deal for Dorset Police and local communities. For example, if the initial proposals were implemented, this would see Dorset’s share of the national police funding increase from 0.83% to 0.87% - equivalent to an increase in grant funding of £2.8 million per year.”

“The consultation remains ongoing however, and any final proposals will also be subject to transitional arrangements which will see the changes phased in over a period of time.”

“It is also important to remember the wider funding context as well, with Dorset Police expecting to see a reduction of at least 25% in their grant funding over the next 4 years when the next Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) is announced in November. It is therefore vital that Dorset receives better equality from the changes in funding formula.”

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Comments (3)

  1. Stuart Harris Oct 12, 2015 at 12:31 PM

    Please use the money for more Traffic Officers. Yet again this morning in a narrow lane a Lorry driver approaching me with his mobile phone glued to his ear!

  2. Janet Oct 14, 2015 at 08:48 AM

    Good morning, I am a little confused regarding this article. There is a suggestion that the grant for Dorset would increase if proposed formula is adopted, but in last paragraph Dorset expects to lose 25% of their grant funding? Also does any of this impact the amount or percentage that Dorset Council will provide or are they yet to declare their proposed contribution? Thank you

  3. OPCC Oct 21, 2015 at 10:51 AM

    Hi Janet

    Thanks for your comments in relation to the police funding formula.

    There are two separate issues here, the first is that the government is reviewing how they split the money between forces, one example being that Dorset get proportionately less money than other counties as we don’t have a motorway.

    Dorset Police costs on average £82 per person per year verses £115 on average per person nationally. This makes it one of the most efficient forces in the country. Given the review into how the pot of money is split, we expect to receive a higher proportion of money in future, to redress the imbalance.

    The second issue is the comprehensive spending review, i.e. how big the pot of money is nationally which is going to reduce – this is the reference to the 25% cut figure.

    The money raised from Council Tax is set by the Police and Crime Commissioner every year and consultation takes place to understand whether residents are happy to pay an increase or prefer to see it frozen. The absolute maximum the PCC can raise Council Tax is 2% without going to a referendum which is the equivalent of a few pounds per year on top of your current Council Tax bill.

    Raising by 2% would generate around £1.5m across the county but with government cuts of several million pounds expected, this would do little to bridge the gap in funding.

    I hope that information helps.

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