Lancashire MPs join fight against police funding cuts

BATTLE: PCC Clive Grunshaw and Chief Constable Steve Finnigan speaking at Monday's press conference
BATTLE: PCC Clive Grunshaw and Chief Constable Steve Finnigan speaking at Monday's press conference

MPs from across Lancashire are joining the fight against ‘catastrophic’ cuts to Lancashire police.

Lancashire’s Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw and Chief Constable Steve Finnigan made a whistle-stop trip to the capital to meet with a number of MPs after the Home Office announced that changes to the government’s funding formula would slash Lancashire’s budget by a further £25m.

We believe the formula is wrong and as a group of MPs from all parties we will be asking the ministers to re-look at it.

The force has already been hit by £74m cuts and the Comprehensive Spending Review in November is estimated to wipe a further £41m to £60m off the budget.

Mr Grunshaw was feeling positive after meeting with 10 of the 16 MPs from across the county in Chorley Labour MP Lindsay Hoyle’s office down in Westminster.

He said: “It was a really good and positive meeting in our fight for fairer funding for Lancashire Police.

“Many of the area’s MPs and Baroness Ruth Henig met with myself and the Chief Constable. The MPs agreed to seek a cross-party meeting with the Policing Minister Mike Penning to discuss the Home Office proposals.

“Everyone was clear we can’t see our funding reduced by the amount proposed as it would be catastrophic for us and we will be working together for a fairer deal for Lancashire.”

The force has until October 30 to respond to the consultation.

And Mr Hoyle says the Home Office’s formula needs to be looked at and that the Labour MPs will be working with other parties to try and convince ministers to review the decision.

He said: “These cuts to the budget will decimate policing in Lancashire.

“We believe the formula is wrong and as a group of MPs from all parties we will be asking the ministers to re-look at it.

“The proposals would be devastating for Lancashire as police levels would drop to an all-time low.”

Fylde’s Conservative MP Mark Menzies will be meeting with Mr Grunshaw at a later date. He said: “It is a concern when you hear serious statements like this and I wrote to the Policing Minister when I was first informed about potential reforms of the funding formula to say I would not wish to see frontline policing reduced in Lancashire.

“There is no avoiding the fact that difficult decisions have to be made, the police do an extremely important job and we have to make sure any funding reductions are done in a fair way.”