Hardyal Dhindsa, Police and Crime Commissioner for Derbyshire, says the Government is deliberately obstructing budgetary planning by delaying its announcement on funding allocations until next week.
The announcement, which must take place before Parliament rises for Christmas, was widely expected this week. The delay means that Mr Dhindsa, who is due to start public consultation on an increase in the amount of council tax paid towards policing this week, is forced to do so without all the facts.
“We are trying to plan ahead without the full facts,” he said. “At the very least it is unhelpful, but some may call it deliberately obstructive. We have until the end of January to complete our budget plans so, with the Christmas period looming, every day counts.”
The Commissioner went on to say: “To make an announcement of this importance in the last few days before Christmas could be seen as a deliberate ploy to ‘bury bad news’, but we will have to wait and see.
“On the plus side, there is still time now for all those MPs who have not yet voiced their support for fairer funding for Derbyshire Police to do so. I asked our Parliamentary representatives from across the city and the county to lobby the Home Office on our behalf. I want them to stand up for Derbyshire.
“I’m grateful to those who have supported my campaign, but disappointed that some have chosen not to do so yet. This is not about politics, this is all about public safety.
“There has been a lot of talk about the amount of reserves held by police forces. One year we are applauded for our financial management, the next we are being told that we have pots of spare cash. That is a fool’s paradise. Like any savings, reserves don’t simply replenish themselves. They are there for a reason. Once they’re gone, they’re gone.
“That’s why I will not rest in my pursuit of a fair funding deal, provided by the Government not local taxpayers, to keep people as safe as possible.
“I hope that those making decisions have listened and care enough to fund policing properly because the consequences of not doing so are pretty scary.”
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Posted on Thursday 14th December 2017