Ian Shires

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Willenhall North Ward, Liberal Democrat Group Leader, Walsall MBC Learn more

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Tory claims of more funding for policing is all smoke and mirrors say local Lib Dems

by Ian Shires on 6 August, 2018

West Midlands Police funding is rising by £9.5 million this year. However that’s no thanks to anything the local conservatives and their government have done. The extra funding is coming at the expense of local tax payers through their police precept.

The amount that the West Midlands force will receive off the Government in the form of grant funding remains the same as last year at £444 million.

When if actually comes down to the business of funding individual forces’ policing, the government has said it is protecting budgets in cash terms which actually means that because of rising costs forces are experiencing cuts in real terms because of rising costs.

There are big variations on what different parts of the country can raise through council tax because of the variation in the value of property. For instance in leafy Surrey gets 44% of its police funding from central government whereas here in the West Midlands it’s nearer to 80%

The Government and our local Conservative MPs would have you believe that they are putting more money into policing. At the back end of last year the then Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced a “substantial increase” of £450 million for policing in England and Wales. In reality this was not new money. More than half of it will be raised through the Police and Crime precept which is collected through your council tax.

Have you noticed invariably when the government wants to increase taxes it does it in such a way that it’s local council’s that get the blame? The government’s commitment to protect the policing budgets relies entirely on Police and Crime Commissioners putting up council tax by the maximum permissible.

The actual amount of funding coming from central government has been falling in real terms up till last year 2017/18. This year it will remain the same. In short it’s all smoke and mirrors designed to hide the fact that there really isn’t any new money no matter how many petitions they get you to sign.

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