HC Deb 09 February 1999 vol 325 c140W
Maria Eagle

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what requirements his Department has laid down in respect of the contingency reserves to be kept by police authorities in England; and what guidance his Department provides in relation to the use to which such moneys should be put. [69473]

Mr. Boateng

Section 43 of the Local Government Finance Act 1992 requires Police Authorities to have regard to the level of reserves needed for meeting estimated future expenditure when calculating their budget requirement. The Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) has recently re-issued to police authorities advice in determining the appropriate level of reserves and balances. CIPFA recommends that the level of balances for a Police Authority should be around 2 per cent. to 5 per cent., depending on local circumstances.

The Home Office provides no separate guidance to police authorities on the use to which reserves and balances should be put. The allocation of all resources, including reserves, is entirely a matter for the Chief Constable and the Police Authority.

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