Spending effectively allows budget gap to be filled, says PCC

Thursday, 28th January 2016

SPENDING money more effectively has allowed a £6.4 million budget gap to be filled, the Police and Crime Commissioner for Staffordshire says.

Moving police officers from back office support roles to the frontline and replacing them with police staff has resulted in reductions in staff costs for Staffordshire Police without impacting on frontline police numbers.

The strategic property partnership, which sees police buildings being managed more effectively, has also provided savings of £398,000.

Getting value for money for people in Staffordshire and spending money more effectively is a core theme for Police and Crime Commissioner Matthew Ellis under his Safer, Fairer, United Communities Strategy.

Mr Ellis said: “Better financial management, making every pound spent work harder for the public, has allowed the budget gap to be dealt with without an impact on frontline policing and without a need to increase council tax levels for policing and community safety.

“The finances are also allowing for the much needed investment in technology now, to help policing in the future, and increase the visibility of officers in communities with their mobile data devices they are being provided with. More applications are being rolled out to officers on their data devices throughout 2016 to help them to do more in communities, away from police stations.

“We need to continue to get the most out of every pound spent, looking at more efficient approaches and getting value for money in all that the police do in Staffordshire.”

Staffordshire PCC, Matthew Ellis

Staffordshire PCC, Matthew Ellis

It is the fourth year in a row that the Police and Crime Commissioner has frozen the amount of council tax that goes towards policing, not asking tax payers in Staffordshire for any more money.

Mr Ellis was speaking ahead of a Police and Crime Panel meeting which will take place on Monday, February 1, and includes a report on the budget for Staffordshire Police.

There has been a 0.57% or £610,000 decrease in the central government grant for Staffordshire Police for the financial year 2016 to 2017. This reduces the grant for Staffordshire Police from £107 million in 2015/2016 to £106.4 million in 2016/2017.

A 1% pay award for all people employed by Staffordshire Police and increased contributions to the amount the police needs to contribute towards National Insurance for its staff have also contributed to the budget gap of £6.4 million.

The Police and Crime Commissioner says the amount of money collected through council tax for policing will remain at £177.61 for Band D property.

Adding the Government grants and council tax money for policing together would provide a total budget of £179.7 million for the 2016/2017 financial year.

Mr Ellis said: “I will be looking at how money is being spent even closer to ensure Staffordshire Police can robustly deal with financial challenges they may face in the future.”