HC Deb 25 November 1999 vol 339 cc176-8W
Mr. Derek Twigg

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department when he intends to announce the allocations of police grant for individual police authorities in England and Wales for 2000–01. [100432]

Mr. Straw

I have today placed a copy of my proposals for the allocation of police grant for 2000–01 in the Library. I intend to implement these proposals subject to consideration of any representation I receive about them and to approval by the House.

I am proposing to continue to allocate the greater part of police grant according to the police funding formula. I announced in my reply to the right hon. Member for East Devon (Sir P. Emery) on 2 November 1999, Official Report, column 118W, that I did not intend to make any changes to the funding formula in 2000–01.

I am proposing that the Metropolitan Police Service should continue to receive additional funding in recognition of its distinct national and capital city functions. It has proved very difficult for the principal formula to take account of these special circumstances. As in previous years, a special payment of grant will be made to the Metropolitan Police Service over and above that available through the principal formula. I have set the amount of this special payment at £182 million.

In addition, I am proposing to make special payments of grant to the following police authorities in 2000–01 in recognition of the additional costs which will be incurred as a result of the changes to the Metropolitan Police District boundaries:

£ million
Essex 1.25
Hertfordshire 2.75
Metropolitan Police 0.50
Surrey 5.50

Other police funding proposals within the local government finance system are being announced today by my right hon. Friend the Member for North-West Durham (Ms Armstrong) and by the National Assembly for Wales. These proposals and mine would increase Total Standard Spending on the police in England and Wales by 3 per cent. or around £212 million over 1999–2000.

I have also announced that new money will be made available through the Crime Fighting Fund to recruit 5,000 more police officers over and above the number forces would otherwise have recruited over the next three years commencing in April 2000. £35 million will be ring-fenced for this purpose in year one, with further sums being made available in years two and three. This money will be ring-fenced for front-line policing.

The settlement also takes account of my commitment to improve police efficiency. I have set a target of 2 per cent. efficiency gains year on year for the police service from 1999–2000. By achieving these targets in 2000–01, police authorities can reinvest the savings to help meet front-line policing priorities. Police grant allocations in 2001–02 will depend on police authorities meeting the 2 per cent. efficiency targets which have been set. Authorities which fail to achieve the efficiency gain sought may be subject to an appropriate deduction from their resources.

I expect police authorities in England to exercise restraint and sound financial management by setting budgets that are responsible, prudent and reasonable. We shall be monitoring the position very carefully. The National Assembly for Wales is responsible for exercising reserve powers to limit council tax increases in Wales.

The effect of my proposals for each police authority for 2000–01 is set out in the table. It also shows the allocations approved by Parliament for 1999–2000.

£ million
Police authority 1999–2000 2000–01
English Shire forces
Avon and Somerset 168.4 173.7
Bedfordshire 61.4 64.1
Cambridgeshire 74.8 77.2
Cheshire 109.0 111.9
Cleveland 81.7 84.7
Cumbria 60.1 62.2
Derbyshire 102.1 105.4
Devon and Cornwall 174.3 178.9
Dorset 70.1 72.4
Durham 81.3 83.9
Essex4 163.0 174.8
Gloucestershire 62.4 63.5
Hampshire 194.5 202.7
Hertfordshire4 100.0 117.3

£ million
Police authority 1999–2000 2000–01
Humberside 113.0 116.9
Kent 183.1 191.2
Lancashire 178.2 185.3
Leicestershire 102.3 105.6
Lincolnshire 63.4 65.4
Norfolk 83.4 86.5
North Yorkshire 77.6 79.7
Northamptonshire 65.3 67.7
Nottinghamshire 126.3 130.0
Staffordshire 113.0 116.7
Suffolk 68.6 70.9
Surrey4 91.9 112.9
Sussex 166.4 172.5
Thames Valley 224.6 231.8
Warwickshire 52.2 54.3
West Mercia 113.0 117.2
Wiltshire 64.9 66.7
English Metropolitan forces
Greater Manchester 375.7 386.0
Merseyside 236.3 242.2
Northumbria 213.0 218.4
South Yorkshire 171.3 177.2
West Midlands 380.6 392.7
West Yorkshire 286.3 297.1
London forces
Metropolitan Police2, 4 1,743.9 1,732.2
City of London3 55.4 56.5
English Total 6,852.8 7,046.2
Welsh forces
Dyfed-Powys 51.7 53.1
Gwent 69.7 71.9
North Wales 75.5 77.4
South Wales 163.8 167.6
Welsh Total 360.8 370.1
Total 7,213.6 7,416.3
1Rounded 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 Protection Grant.
2Figures 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.
3Figure for the City includes Police SSA, Grant and SSA Reduction Grant, but excludes other SSAs (e.g. Capital Financing) and Central Support Protection Grant. These are allocated to the Common Council of the City of London as a whole in respect of all its functions.
4These authorities will be affected by the changes to police force boundaries around London on 1 April 2000. To provide comparison, indicative 1999–2000 totals for these authorities as on the new boundaries are Essex: £169.8 million, Hertfordshire: £114.3 million, Surrey: £113.6 million and Metropolitan Police: £1,701.9 million.
4 These authorities will be affected by the changes to police force boundaries around London on 1 April 2000. To provide comparison, indicative 1999–2000 totals for these authorities as on the new boundaries are Essex: £169.8 million, Hertfordshire: £114.3 million, Surrey: £113.6 million and Metropolitan Police: £1,701.9 million.