§ Mr. Gordon Marsden
To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to his answer of 23 July 1998,Official Report, columns 617–18, (1) what assessment he has made of the means available to the Lancashire Police Authority to fund the shortfall between the estimated cost of policing the Labour Party Conference in 1998 and the special grant made available to it under the Police and Magistrates' Court Act 1994; 
(2) pursuant to his answer of 23 July 1998, Official Report, columns 617–18, what estimate he has made of the shortfall between the estimated cost of policing the Labour Party Conference in 1998 and the special grant made available to the Lancashire Police Authority. 
§ Mr. Michael
It should be borne in mind that until 1996 no contribution was made from central funds to help with the costs of political party conferences. The Government have maintained the level of total grant at £1.5 million in 1997 and 1998. We are currently reviewing the arrangements.837W
The Lancashire Police Authority has estimated that the additional costs of policing the Labour Party Conference at Blackpool will be £1.284 million. This is £534,000 more than the special grant they will receive from my Department, but it represents less than 0.5 per cent. of the force's budget of £177 million.
It is for the Chief Constable to decide how to find the additional resources. The force could use its reserves, which were expected to be around £2.9 million as at 31 March, or find the money from efficiency savings elsewhere in the force budget.