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House of Commons Hansard
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Police Authorities (Grant Allocations)
26 November 2009
Volume 501
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I have today placed in the Library our proposals for allocation of police grant for England and Wales for 2010-11. I intend to implement the proposals on police grant subject to consideration of any representations and the approval of the House. Copies are also available in the Vote Office.

In summary, this settlement intends to make available £259 million more than in 2009-10 in funding to the police service in 2010-11. Policing and reducing crime remain top priorities for this Government. We have continued to work hard to maintain the police grant at the best possible level as well as to provide secure and stable funding across policing, crime and drugs. We are committed to investing in the police so they have the tools and powers to fight crime and make communities safer.

The Government previously announced provisional funding totals for the three-year period 2008-09 to 2010-11 in December 2007 and November 2008. This three-year settlement was received positively by police authorities and forces, as a means of providing greater certainty and improving medium-term planning. The Government face more challenging financial circumstances than expected at the time the three-year settlement was announced. The Home Secretary has however decided to prioritise funding for the police. I will therefore be implementing the substantial increases in police revenue funding set out in the three-year settlement in line with our statement in November 2008.

The funding settlement for 2010-11 continues to build on unprecedented levels of investment in the police service in England and Wales since 1997-98. On a like for like basis Government grant for the police will have increased by over 60 per cent. or over £3.7 billion between 1997-98 and 2010-11. This is almost a 20 per cent. increase in real terms. This investment has helped to expand local policing significantly. There has been considerable achievement over the last 10 years investing in an improved mix of more officers and more police staff. The police workforce has increased by 30.9 per cent. (56,590) since 1997 to 239,607 in March 2009; a record number. This includes substantial growth in police staff (41.8 per cent.) that has freed police officers from back-office and support roles for the frontline.

Neighbourhood policing forms the bedrock of local policing in the 21st century. Through effective engagement with their local community, other community safety service providers, representatives from the private sector and community organisations, neighbourhood policing teams ensure that local concerns are dealt with efficiently. Neighbourhood policing teams play a prominent part in delivering the commitments made in the Policing Pledge and in achieving the single top-down target of public confidence in police and councils to deal with crime and antisocial behaviour issues that matter locally, both of which require effective partnership working at the neighbourhood level. It is for individual police forces and authorities to ensure the effectiveness of neighbourhood policing in their area. The Government will hold forces to account for progress through the public confidence target, which has increased from 45 per cent. in March 2008 to 50 per cent. in July 2009. The Government are working with ACPO and APA colleagues to ensure forces deliver on the Policing Pledge, drawing on the recent inspection work by Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC).

The police reform programme continues apace. The Policing White Paper, which will be published shortly, represents the next stage of the current police reform programme and an opportunity to highlight and review the progress that has been made in the 18 months since the publication of the Green Paper: “From the Neighbourhood to the National: Policing our Communities Together”. Focusing on delivery of the Policing Pledge, the confidence target and protective services; and addressing our wider approach to tackling crime and antisocial behaviour in the context of the current financial climate, the Policing White Paper will give fresh impetus to the Government’s vision for the future of accountable, professional and citizen focused policing, working effectively with partners nationally and locally.

We continue to make good progress on reforming police and Criminal Justice Service processes to free up officer time by making greater use of technology and investment in mobile data devices. Jan Berry in her capacity as the independent Reducing Bureaucracy Advocate is challenging the police service, its partners and the Home Office to think about wider reductions in unnecessary bureaucracy. Her report includes recommendations for a range of Government agencies, a study on the custody process, and a review of the implementation of the recommendations made in the Flanagan review. The White Paper will respond to these.

In 2009-10 some £4.8 million was made available to the 16 tackling knives action programme police forces to enable them and their partners to undertake additional activity to tackle serious youth violence, including knife crime and gang-related violence, with a further £500,000 for supporting activities such as the Be Safe programme with schools. Figures published last month for England and Wales for the April to June 2009 period showed a fall in police recorded knife and sharp instrument related violence compared to 2008, including a provisional 35 per cent. drop in knife related homicides from 71 to 46, and a fall in firearms offences of 5 per cent. We want to build on the progress achieved so far and in the new year we will announce our plans for 2010-11 to enable the police and their partners to continue bringing about a step change in the levels of serious youth violence in our communities.

The Home Office also contributes £76 million to the Safer and Stronger Communities Fund and the Young Persons Substance Misuse Partnership Grant delivered by local government. In addition, there is a capital element of the Safer and Stronger Communities Fund that is under review. This funding will help local areas to deliver national and local improvement priorities such as those set out in local area agreements.

The police grant settlement 2010-11

Total provision for policing revenue grants in 2010-11 will be £9,741 million, an overall increase of 2.7 per cent. The Government propose to distribute the settlement as set out below.

Table 1: Police Revenue Funding Three-Year Settlement 2008-09 to 2010-11

2008-09

£m

2009-10

£m

2010-11

£m

Home Office general grant

4,543

4,666

4,792

DCLG/WAG general grant

3,488

3,583

3,680

Welsh Top-Up

15

16

16

Total general Formula Grant*

8,062

8,281

8,504

% increase in general grant

2.7%

2.7%

2.7%

Total Specific Grants

1,165

1,201

1,237

Total Government funding for police authorities

9,227

9,482

9,741

% increase in total Government revenue funding

2.9%

2.8%

2.7%

*This figure includes the formula grant allocations in table 2 plus former specific grants (209 million—rounded up) that are now added to general grant but are not distributed according to the formula.

Police funding proposals within the local government finance system for England are being announced by the Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, my hon. Friend the Member for Stevenage (Barbara Follett), today, and those for Wales by the Welsh Assembly Government.

Provisional general policing grants (that is, Home Office Police Grant, Revenue Support Grant and National Non-domestic Rates) for English and Welsh police authorities in 2010-11 compared with 2009-10 are set out in table 2.

General grant

Within the general grant provision of a 2.7 per cent. increase, the funding floor was set at 2.5 per cent. increase for each of the CSR years. Each police authority in England and Wales is guaranteed an increase of at least this level. The grant floor provides for stability but at the same time a degree of grant scaling has enabled us to target resources to areas with greater relative need. Our promised review of the funding formula before the next CSR is already under way with active participation from the policing community.

The Government have made it clear that there is no excuse for excessive increases in precepts on council tax next year. We will not hesitate to use capping powers to deal with excessive council tax increases in 2010-11, including requiring authorities to re-bill if necessary. We took capping action against two police authorities in 2009-10 and seven police authorities in 2008-09. This included, in 2008-09, the designation of Cheshire, Leicestershire and Warwickshire police authorities for capping in advance of both 2009-10 and 2010-11. My right hon. Friend, the Member for Doncaster, Central (Ms Winterton), who is the Minister responsible for local government, is announcing today that action is being taken forward to limit these authorities’ precept increases to around 3 per cent. in 2010-11. The three authorities have 21 days in which to challenge our decision. Any challenges will be carefully considered before final decisions are made.

Welsh police authorities

In line with previous years, I have again ensured that Welsh police authorities are treated on a par with English police authorities in respect to the floor damping mechanism. I have provided additional support of £15.7 million in 2010-11 to ensure Dyfed-Powys, Gwent and North Wales police authorities receive at least a minimum grant increase of 2.5 per cent. equivalent to the level of the funding floor in England. Floor funding is also partly funded through the scaling of police grant to South Wales police authority, so as to maintain consistency with the treatment of English authorities and provide the level of grant it would receive if it were in England.

Specific grants for police authorities

Police authorities will continue to receive specific grants for particular schemes. Details are set out in table 3.

Counter-terrorism funding—We will continue to invest in counter-terrorism policing. Funding for police counter-terrorism will be increased from £552 million in 2009-10 to £579 million in 2010-11.

This announcement reinforces our CSR plans for continued growth in counter-terrorism policing.

Crime Fighting Fund£211 million will again be made available to forces in 2010-11.

Neighbourhood PolicingWe will maintain the ring fence on this funding during 2010-11 to ensure that neighbourhood policing is properly embedded. Funding for each authority has increased by 2.7 per cent. A total of £341 million will be made available in 2010-11.

Funding additional to the settlement

Mobile Information Programme In view of the enthusiastic response from frontline officers, and the success of the programme, a further £30 million capital was made available in 2009-10 as part of our campaign to free up time for officers and reduce bureaucracy.

The Safer and Stronger Communities FundThe resource element of £61million and the Young Peoples Substance Misuse Grant of £15 million will continue to be paid into the Area Based Grant for 2010-11. The Safer and Stronger Communities Fund Capital which is paid direct to local authorities by the Home Office is currently under review, and allocations will be announced at the earliest opportunity.

For the devolved Administration in Wales, where local area agreements are not applicable, the Crime Reduction and Anti-social Behaviour Grant is made available. The resource element of this grant will remain at £3 million for 2010-11, but the capital element is currently under review, and allocations will be announced at the earliest opportunity.

Capital

Police funding remains a priority for this Government. Even in very difficult financial times, we have prioritised the police. We have decided to continue to increase funding for the police by providing the £259 million increase in revenue funding set out in the three year funding settlement. However, we have more difficult decisions to make on capital. We will therefore review and announce capital allocations in January 2010. The police will get the best possible settlement within our means.

Efficiency

The police share the public service duty to maximise value for money, especially in the current economic climate. Locally, it is the responsibility of police authorities to set ambitious targets for the efficiency and productivity gains to be achieved by their forces and to hold chief officers to account for delivery. It is also for authorities and forces to decide locally how to recycle the benefits of increased efficiency and productivity. Senior policing leaders must help drive the organisational change required to make significant improvements in value for money, both in their forces and authorities and working with others. Value for money must be central to the strategic vision for improving policing, and chief officers and senior leaders must be visibly associated with this organisational priority within the service.

Table 2: Police Grant Allocation by English and Welsh Police Authority 2009-10 to 2010-11

Police Authority

2009-10

Formula Allocation1

£m

2010-11

Allocation1

£m

Change on

2009-10 Formula

Allocation

%

English Shire Authorities

Avon & Somerset

179.7

186.1

3.5%

Bedfordshire

70.8

73.1

3.3%

Cambridgeshire

81.0

83.5

3.0%

Cheshire

120.5

123.5

2.5%

Cleveland

97.7

100.1

2.5%

Cumbria

67.2

68.9

2.5%

Derbyshire

112.6

116.2

3.1%

Devon & Cornwall

186.4

191.1

2.5%

Dorset

65.3

66.9

2.5%

Durham

91.4

93.7

2.5%

Essex

177.9

183.1

2.9%

Gloucestershire

59.3

60.8

2.5%

Hampshire

207.5

213.0

2.7%

Hertfordshire

121.2

124.9

3.0%

Humberside

128.4

131.8

2.6%

Kent

192.1

197.4

2.7%

Lancashire

204.1

209.7

2.7%

Leicestershire

118.0

121.4

2.9%

Lincolnshire

64.3

66.3

3.2%

Norfolk

87.6

89.8

2.5%

North Yorkshire

76.7

78.6

2.5%

Northamptonshire

75.5

77.5

2.7%

Nottinghamshire

141.4

146.0

3.3%

Staffordshire

120.6

123.8

2.7%

Suffolk

71.0

72.7

2.5%

Surrey

101.8

104.4

2.5%

Sussex

169.8

174.1

2.5%

Thames Valley

238.2

244.7

2.8%

Warwickshire

54.1

55.6

2.7%

West Mercia

121.8

124.9

2.5%

Wiltshire

65.2

66.8

2.5%

Shires Total

3669.0

3770.0

2.8%

English Metropolitan Authorities

Greater Manchester

458.9

472.5

3.0%

Merseyside

267.4

274.3

2.6%

Northumbria

249.9

256.2

2.5%

South Yorkshire

204.1

209.2

2.5%

West Midlands

486.1

504.3

3.8%

West Yorkshire

339.2

350.5

3.3%

Mets Total

2005.7

2067.1

3.1%

London Authorities

GLA - Police

1978.3

2027.7

2.5%

City of London2

21.0

21.8

N/A

English Total

7674.0

7886.6

2.8%

Welsh Authorities

Dyfed-Powys3

54.4

55.8

2.5%

Gwent3

82.6

84.7

2.5%

North Wales3

80.1

82.1

2.5%

South Wales3

181.5

186.4

2.7%

Welsh total

398.6

409.0

2.6%

TOTAL|

8072.6

8295.7

2.7%

Notes to table 2

1. Rounded to the nearest £100,000. Grant as calculated under the Local Government Finance Report (England) and Local Government Finance (No.2—Provisional Settlement Police Authorities) Report (Wales). Table includes the effects of floors and scaling.

2. Figures for the City of London relate to Home Office Grant only as calculated in the Police Grant Report (England and Wales). Revenue Support Grant is allocated to the Common Council of the City of London as a whole in respect of all its functions. The City is grouped with education authorities for the purposes of grant floors.

3. Welsh figures include Home Office floor funding.

Table 3: Specific Grant Allocations 2008-09 to 2010-11

2008-09

£m

2009-10

£m

2010-11

£m

Crime Fighting Fund

277

277

277

Neighbourhood Policing Fund & Community Support Officers

324

332

341

Police Counter Terrorism

524

552*

579

Basic Command Units

40

40

40

Grand Total

1,165

1,201

1,237

*This was later increased to £569 million in year (2009-10)