Greater Manchester’s Police and Crime Commissioner has condemned the Home Secretary for ignoring calls to come clean on planned cuts to local policing.
Tony Lloyd was speaking out as a flawed consultation exercise about changes to how the Government allocates funding to the police service closed.
The Home Office has repeatedly failed to provide information on how the proposals will impact Greater Manchester and other forces across the country – despite numerous demands from police leaders and politicians.
Based on the scant information they have provided, Greater Manchester could be facing up to a further £52m slashed from the policing budget – on top of the £275m already cut.
Tony said: “Theresa May and her army of civil servants have ignored pleas from myself, the Chief Constable and local politicians for them to ditch the secrecy and tell the truth about what these changes will mean for Greater Manchester.
“Policing Minister Mike Penning let the cat out the bag in Parliament last week, admitting that they know the impact these changes will have on local policing – but are refusing to say.
“This secrecy and silence fuels further uncertainty about the future of policing in Greater Manchester and highlights the Government’s blatant disregard for local policing and the safety of our communities – this is unacceptable. I have written to Greater Manchester’s MPs asking them to urgently raise this issue in Parliament and demand answers from the Home Secretary.
“This process has been a shambles. The Home Office needs to first come clean and then re-run the consultation process, but this time make it transparent.”
The Home Office consultation on planned changes to the funding formula closed today (Tuesday 15 September). It proposes a change from the historic funding formula from one which reflects relative need to a system based on population levels, the underlying characteristics of the local population and the environmental characteristics of the area.
It is anticipated that metropolitan areas like Greater Manchester will significantly lose out under the new proposals, but the Home Office has refused to give more details on what these changes will mean in practice until October – a month after the end of the so-called consultation period.