Police & Crime Commissioner- “it could be that the new funding for that and the Home Office’s new objectives, is at the expense of local neighbourhood policing”.

IMG_6009 Phil Bateman BBC Radio InterviewThe Police are important to our community here in Wednesfield North.

Following the Chancellor’s November Spending Review and the glee with which Chancellor Osbourne informed Parliament that there would be no Police budget cuts. I wrote to the West Midlands Police & Crime Commissioner in the following way.

“Dear PCC
Can you tell me if the announcements about the PCSO reductions are nullified by the
Chancellors Statements today in Parliament?
I am urgently seeking clarification….
Cllr Phil Bateman”
This morning I have received the following statement from PCC Jameson. It is even now many days on. That the Chancellor’s statement has still proven to be inconclusive as to if, our Police Community Support Officers will survive into next year. Please read the PCC’s statement here.
If you have a comment please do so, it is most important that both the PCC and the Government understand your views on our Police service and the shape it takes now and into the future. Of course anti terror policy is important. But do we really want to see the loss of community policing to pay for the anti terror plan that the PCC hints may take place? Please let me know your views.

Statement from PCC Jamieson – 2/12/2015

Thanks to the concerted efforts of the media and politicians from across the political spectrum, our message – that West Midlands Police deserves fairer funding – has been loud and clear.
Despite all our efforts it was, nevertheless, widely anticipated that the government’s latest Spending Review would confirm the need for further police efficiencies.
That was certainly the expectation when I joined chief constables and other police and crime commissioners in Manchester, for our annual joint conference.
At 12:30, a large group of us watched the Chancellor’s statement. The mood, as you might imagine, was sombre as in recent months most of us had been expecting cuts of between 20 and 25%.
So when the announcement came, towards the end of the Chancellor’s statement, that there would be no further policing cuts, I can tell you there was genuine disbelief.
Whilst on the face of it the news would appear to be extremely favourable, I am a great believer in checking the facts and the small print before getting carried away with the general euphoria of the Chancellor’s announcement.
We need to carefully examine his statement to get the full details and truly understand what they mean for our funding. Properly funding counter terrorism work is crucial.
However,  which plays a crucial role in keeping people safe and also contributes to counter terrorism work.
Since the Chancellor’s statement, I have spoken to the Permanent Secretary at the Home Office who confirmed to me that there is only one policing budget. I am seeking reassurance that increased funding for counter terrorism will not have to come from local forces.
The government announced plans for a new technology fund. This could also be taken out of existing policing budgets, meaning that efficient forces like the West Midlands end up funding less efficient forces.
The Chancellor’s announcement does not change the fact that West Midlands Police has been hit harder than any other force in the country. We have already suffered cuts of £130 million since 2010 and we have had to make very difficult choices as a result.
We will be examining the fine print of the statement and the funding allocation for West Midlands Police, details of which will be released in December, will provide us with more news. Until then, we cannot truly claim that there has been a victory for common sense.


Phil Bateman

Phil Bateman is Married to Mary and lives in Wednesfield North. He was a long serving local politician having served previously on the now defunct West Midlands County Council... read more


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