HL Deb 27 November 2000 vol 619 cc120-4WA
Lord Gladwin of Clee

asked Her Majesty's Government:

When will they announce the allocations of police grant for individual police authorities in England and Wales for 2001–02. [HL4814]

Lord Bassam of Brighton

My right honourable friend the Home Secretary has today put a copy of his proposals for the allocation of police grant for 2001–02 in the Library. He intends to implement these proposals subject to consideration of any representations he receives about them.

The total provision for policing in 2001–02 is £8,495 million. This is an increase of 10.1 per cent over the initial provision for this year. He proposes to distribute the police settlement as follows.

2000–01 2001–02 Increase
£ million £ million £ million ― increase
(a) Total Standard Spending 7,354 7,732 377 5.13
(b) Special police grants and central support services 219 531 312
(c) Police Authority capital 144 232 88
Total 7,718 8,495 777 10.06

* All figures rounded to nearest £ million.

(a) Total Standard Spending

Police funding proposals within the local government finance system are being announced today by my right honourable friend the Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions, Ms Armstrong, and by the National Assembly for Wales. These proposals and my right honourable friend the Home Secretary's would provide Total Standard Spending on the police in England and Wales of £7,731.774 million, an increase of around £377.4 million or 5.1 per cent over the comparable provision for 2000–2001.

The overall increase is 5.1 per cent, but increases for individual police authorities vary. The formula used to determine the distribution of grant/Standard Spending Assessment (SSA) is unchanged for 2001–02. The main reasons for differences between police authorities result from changes in the data applied from one year to the next. These include changes in population, unemployment, projected pensions commitments and the Area Cost Adjustment.

My right honourable friend the Home Secretary proposes 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, therefore, a special payment of grant will be made to the Metropolitan Police Service over and above that available through the principal formula. He has set the amount of this special payment at £191 million; which is included in the total provision.

My right honourable friend the Home Secretary proposes to make special payments of grant to the following police authorities in 2001–02 in recognition of the additional costs which will be incurred as a result of the changes to the Metropolitan Police District boundaries as follows:

  • Essex: £14,000
  • Hertfordshire: £627,000
  • Surrey: £1,609,000

The proposed allocations, compared with those for last year, are given in the table as follows. The table also includes provisional allocations for capital financing SSA and for SSA Protection Grant and Central Support Protection Grant where appropriate.

(b) Special Police Grants and Central Support Services

The substantial increase since the last settlement provides the opportunity to develop a number of specific ringfenced initiatives:

Crime Fighting Fund: (£151 million, for which up to £129 million will be targeted grants) for the estimated cost in 2001–2002 of police officers recruited this year and next, over and above forces' existing recruitment plans. The overall cost includes recruitment and training. Targets agreed with each force for recruitment, and performance against them, will be reviewed regularly. Actual payments to police authorities will be based on performance.

Rural Policing Fund: (£30 million) to help address the particular pressures of policing rural areas. The payment follows an allocation of £15 million made this year. My right honourable friend the Home Secretary will expect police authorities to demonstrate how they have used the added investment to reduce crime and the fear of crime in more rural areas.

Airwave: (£49 million) for introduction of the public safety radio communication system. The total includes up to £32.488 million grants to police authorities for start-up costs for introduction of Airwave. Grants will be paid to forces taking Airwave in 2001–2002. Similar arrangements will apply in future in the year each force joins the system. My right honourable friend the Home Secretary will also provide centrally for payment centrally of the core service charge to the contractor. He envisages that the total provision in the years 2001–02 to 2003–04 (for start up, capital and core costs) will reach £500 million.

Basic Command Unit Fund: (£5 million) to support and encourage initiatives to prevent crime and the fear of crime at the policing level closest to the general public and to extend inspection to BCU performance. Details of the scheme are being developed.

DNA Expansion Project: (£63 million) for processing samples, scientific support, training and evidential casework. Work on how most effectively to target this money is in hand.

National Strategy for Police Information Systems: (£12 million) to support information system developments by forces on behalf of the service.

(c) Capital

My right honourable friend the Home Secretary intends to increase the provision of grant and supplementary credit approvals from £144.43 million this year to £157.43 million next year. Allocations will reflect any remaining outstanding undertakings given to support particular capital projects and will otherwise be guided as in previous years by the grant/SSA formula. In addition, capital grants for the introduction of Airwave (up to £75 million) will be made available to those police authorities taking up the service in 2001–02. Grants will be made in future years to those taking up the service subsequently.

My right honourable friend the Home Secretary will inform the House of any significant allocations of grant to police authorities for these initiatives.

Several projects to be carried forward next year were launched or increased with new money this year, in addition to that in the settlement for 2000–01. The original targets in the Crime Fighting Fund were accelerated (£24 million), the Rural Policing fund was introduced (£15 million), provision was made for special initiatives to counter robbery in metropolitan areas (£20 million) and a central programme of recruitment advertising to support local police authority initiatives was launched (£7 million).

The settlement continues to take account of my commitment to improve police efficiency. For the third year running, my right honourable friend the Home Secretary has set a target of 2 per cent efficiency gains year on year for the police service from 2001–2002. As in previous years, police authorities may invest the savings to help meet front line policing priorities. Police grant allocations for 2002–2003 will be considered in the light of police authorities meeting the 2 per cent efficiency targets. Authorities which fail to achieve the efficiency gain sought may be subject to an appropriate deduction from their resources. My right honourable friend the Home Secretary is pleased that performance this year is such that it has not been necessary to apply this sanction to the grant allocations for 2001–2002.

My right honourable friend the Home Secretary expects 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.

Police Authority 2000–01 Allocation1 £m 2001–02 Allocation1 £m ― Change
English Shire forces
Avon & Somerset 173.7 181.5 4.4%
Bedfordshire 64.1 68.0 6.2%
Cambridgeshire 77.2 81.3 5.4%
Cheshire 111.9 118.6 5.9%
Cleveland 84.7 88.8 4.8%
Cumbria 62.2 64.8 4.2%,
Derbyshire 105.4 111.1 5.4%
Devon & Cornwall 178.9 187.9 5.0%
Dorset 72.4 75.0 3.7%
Durham 83.9 87.5 4.3%
Essex 174.8 185.3 6.1%
Gloucestershire 63.5 67.0 5.5%
Hampshire 202.7 213.9 5.5%
Hertfordshire 117.2 122.9 4.8%
Humberside 116.9 121.1 3.6%
Kent 191.2 204.4 6.9%
Lancashire 185.3 193.0 4.2%
Leicestershire 105.6 110.8 4.9%
Lincolnshire 65.4 68.6 4.9%
Norfolk 86.5 91.5 5.8%
North Yorkshire 79.7 84.0 5.4%
Northamptonshire 67.7 70.9 4.8%
Police Authority 2000–01 Allocation1 £m 2001–02 Allocation1 £m % Change
Nottinghamshire 130.0 136.1 4.6%
Staffordshire 116.8 121.7 4.2%
Suffolk 70.9 75.0 5.8%
Surrey 112.8 111.0 -1.6%
Sussex 172.4 181.8 5.4%
Thames Valley 231.7 245.2 5.8%
Warwickshire 54.3 57.0 5.0%
West Mercia 117.2 124.4 6.1%
Wiltshire 66.7 69.5 4.2%
English Metropolitan forces
Greater Manchester 386.1 404.6 4.8%
Merseyside 242.3 252.7 4.3%
Northumbria 218.4 227.7 4.2%
South Yorkshire 177.2 184.8 4.3%
West Midlands 392.7 409.8 4.3%
West Yorkshire 297.1 310.7 4.6%
London forces
Metropolitan Police2 1,731.2 1,823.3 5.3%
City of London3 56.4 57.4 1.8%
English Total 7,045.1 7,390.5 4.9%
Welsh forces
Dyfed-Powys 53.2 56.3 6.0%
Gwent 71.9 75.1 4.4%
North Wales 77.5 82.2 6.1%
South Wales 167.6 176.1 5.0%
Welsh total 370.2 389.8 5.3%
TOTAL 7.415.3 7,780.3 4.9%
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 Protection Grant. Figures for Capital Finance SSA are provisional.
2 Figure for the Metropolitan Police includes its Special Payment.
3 Figure for the City includes Police SSA, Grant and SSA Reduction Grant, but excludes other SSAs (eg 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.