§ Baroness Goudie
asked Her Majesty's Government:
Whether they will set out the allocation of police grant for individual police authorities in England and Wales in 1999–2000. [HL171]
§ The Minister of State, Home Office (Lord Williams of Mostyn)
A copy of the proposals of my right honourable friend the Home Secretary for the allocation of police grant for 1999–2000 has today been placed in the Library. He intends to implement these proposals, subject to consideration of any representations he receives about them.
My right honourable friend announced in July, following the Government's Comprehensive Spending Review, that spending overall on the police service in England and Wales would be increased by £1.24 billion in the years 1999–2002. The increases will be 2.67 per cent. in 1999–2000, up to a further 2.8 per cent. in 2000–2001, and up to an extra 4 per cent. in 2001–2002. These sums represent a real terms increase, albeit small, in police spending.
The police service has indicated its support in principle for the continued distribution of police grant in accordance with a needs-based formula. My right honourable friend therefore proposes to continue to allocate the greater part of police grant according to the police funding formula.
He is, however, proposing several changes to the formula to reflect the latest data now available, and in response to the representations he has received. The principal changes he proposes are: 43WA
to reduce from 20 per cent. to 10 per cent. the share of funding allocated on the basis of forces' past establishments;
to increase from 13.2 per cent. to 14.5 per cent. the proportion of funding allocated on the basis of forces' pensions commitments.
My right honourable friend is proposing that the Metropolitan Police should continue to receive additional funding in recognition of its distinct national and capital city functions. It has proved difficult for the principal formula appropriately to take account of these special circumstances. He has proposed, therefore, that a special payment of grant will be made to the Metropolitan Police over and above that available through the principal formula. He has set the amount of this special payment at £176 million.
In addition, my right honourable friend is proposing to make special payments of grant to the following police authorities in 1999–2000, in recognition of the additional costs which will be incurred in preparation for the proposed changes to the Metropolitan Police District boundaries:
Essex: £2 million Hertfordshire: £3 million Surrey: £7 million
Other police funding proposals within the local government finance system are being announced today by my right honourable friends the Deputy Prime Minister and Secretary of State for Wales. These proposals will increase Total Standard Spending on the police in England and Wales by 2.67 per cent., or around £186 million over 1998–99. The settlement also takes account of our commitment to improve police efficiency. My right honourable friend has set a target of 2 per cent. efficiency gains year on year for the police service from 1999–2000. By achieving these targets, police authorities can reinvest the savings to help meet front-line policing priorities.
Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, and the Audit Commission have published extensive advice to chief officers and to police authorities on many ways in which the efficiency and effectiveness of the police service can be improved within available resources. A detailed circular on this has recently been issued by the Home Office, which, among other subjects, gives guidance on savings to be secured in the areas of training, estate management, procurement, sickness and early retirements on medical grounds.
Over the next three years, the Government will also be spending £250 million on their targeted crime reduction programme, £217 million on tackling drugs and £85 million on the Youth Justice Board's development fund.
The Government have already announced their decision to abolish crude and universal capping of local authorities from April 1999. In previous years, the Government have announced capping limits on police authority spending at the time of provisional funding settlement. No such limits are being set for next year. Nevertheless, my right honourable friend expects police authorities in England and Wales to set budgets that are responsible, prudent and reasonable, and which do not 44WA impose an excessive increase in council tax next year. We shall be monitoring the position very carefully.
The effect of the proposals for each police authority for 1999–2000 is set out in the table. It also shows the allocations approved by Parliament for 1998–99.
1998–1999 1999–2000 Allocation1 Allocation1 Police Authority £ million £ million English Shire forces Avon & Somerset 164.3 168.4 Bedfordshire 60.9 61.4 Cambridgeshire 71.9 74.8 Cheshire 104.7 109.0 Cleveland 80.4 81.5 Cumbria 59.0 60.0 Derbyshire 97.7 101.7 Devon & Cornwall 167.4 174.4 Dorset 67.8 70.1 Durham 78.1 81.3 Essex 158.4 163.0 Gloucestershire 61.5 62.4 Hampshire 189.1 194.6 Hertfordshire 94.1 100.1 Humberside 110.6 113.0 Kent 178.9 183.2 Lancashire 174.9 178.3 Leicestershire 99.1 102.3 Lincolnshire 60.7 63.4 Norfolk 80.9 83.5 North Yorkshire 75.6 77.6 Northamptonshire 62.8 65.2 Nottinghamshire 123.0 126.4 Staffordshire 111.1 113.0 Suffolk 66.0 68.7 Surrey 84.2 92.0 Sussex 162.6 166.4 Thames Valley 219.3 224.6 Warwickshire 51.1 52.0 West Mercia 110.0 113.1 Wiltshire 63.4 64.9 English Metropolitan forces Greater Manchester 364.8 375.7 Merseyside 233.3 236.3 Northumbria 205.4 213.0 South Yorkshire 165.4 171.3 West Midlands 371.9 380.6 West Yorkshire 279.5 286.3 London forces Metropolitan Police2 1,715.3 1,744.1 City of London3 57.1 55.4 English total 6,682.6 6,852.7 Welsh forces Dyfed-Powys 51.1 51.5 Gwent 67.3 69.3 North Wales 73.2 75.1 South Wales 161.3 163.1 Welsh total 353.0 359.0 TOTAL 7,035.5 7,211.7 Notes: 1 Rounded to the nearest £100,000. The Allocation is the sum of: Police Grant, Transitional Grant, Police SSA, Capital Finance SSA, SSA Reduction Grant and Central Support Reduction Grant. 2 Figure for the Metropolitan Police does not include funding allocated to the Receiver under the Environmental, Protective and Cultural Services SSA for school crossing patrols, Magistrates' Courts and the Probation Service. It does include its Special Payment. 3 Figure for the City includes Police SSA, Grant and SSA Reduction Grant, but excludes other SSAs (e.g. Capital Financing) and Central Support Reduction Grant. These are allocated to the Common Council of the City of London as a whole in respect of all its functions.