The Home Office is currently consulting on the formula it uses to fund the police. This is the calculation made which decides how much money is allocated from central Government to police services across the country. In Greater Manchester, police are funded through a combination this grant and money raised locally through council tax. Most of the money comes from the government and the police rely heavily on this grant to deliver policing services.
The best calculation, based on the information provided by government, is that Greater Manchester is facing an additional cut to the policing budget of between £53m and £78m. That is the equivalent of between 1,060 and 1,560 officers.
That is in addition to the huge cuts Greater Manchester Police has already been subjected to, which has seen the budget slashed by £175m, with much more to come. The police have already lost more than 1,500 officers, from 8,100 in 2010 to less than 6,600 currently.
But the reality is that the police simply don’t know what these proposed changes will mean – because the government has not given the information needed to understand the financial implications of the changes. Unfortunately, officials have indicated that they will not give this information until October, after the consultation period ends.
The Home Office’s lack of clarity means that no assumptions or plans can be made making even short term financial planning more difficult than at present.
The Chief Constable and Tony Lloyd have written jointly to the Home Secretary to request further information. Tony Lloyd has also contacted all the Greater Manchester MPs, and the Leaders and City Mayor of the 10 local councils to ask the Home Secretary for this vital information.
For further information about the funding formula consultation and to take part in the consultation, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/consultations/reforming-police-funding-arrangements-in-england-and-wales by 15 September 2015.