West Mercia Police set to make cuts to save £22 million

Droitwich Advertiser: Police and Crime Commissioner Bill Longmore Police and Crime Commissioner Bill Longmore

WEST Mercia Police needs to make a further £22 million of cuts by 2019 – with residents asked to foot some of the bill through council tax rises. 

The force is already halfway through a plan to cut £20 million from spending between 2012 and 2016.

A further £21.8m of cuts are needed but a report from police and crime commissioner Bill Longmore added the precise figure is unlikely to be confirmed until after next year’s general election.

Mr Longmore also revealed he wants to increase the police element of the council tax precept by two per cent from April in a bid to raise an additional £1.7 million a year.

Because the force only gets around 10 per cent of the bill, it would add about £3.64 a year to the average band D payment.

He said: “Unfortunately the Government’s austerity measures mean that we need to save a further £21.8 million over the next five years.

“Income raised through council tax is a vital source of police funding – and, although I understand that times are difficult, asking people to pay more is something I need to consider in order to relieve the pressure on frontline policing.”

The bombshell means more job losses are likely, and comes after a cull which saw 140 frontline police officer jobs axed in 2012.

Of the original £20 million that needs to be saved by 2016, the force is halfway through, with £9.7 million remaining.

It has included the closure of several police bases around the region, including one at Worcester’s Guildhall and a shop front in Warndon.

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Human resources, IT and vehicle costs are also being shared with Warwickshire Police under the alliance agreement, with work ongoing to pool more costs.

Ken MacKaill, chairman of the West Mercia Police Federation, said: “Over the last four years 400 police jobs have gone, we’ve lost so many.”

Barrie Sheldon, deputy police and crime commissioner, said: “In the current climate we’re looking at saving money anywhere we can.

“This organisation has been through huge change and the staff have responded magnificently, we’re doing all we can.”

It comes just days after Worcestershire County Council confirmed it wants to increase council tax 1.9 per cent, as well as Worcester City Council.

It means the average band D £1,453 bill in Worcester is expected to rise at least £26.

Comments (4)

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2:37pm Fri 10 Jan 14

ronosborne1955 says...

You are never asked to pay more taxes, they just get increased and you have no option but to pay.
You are never asked to pay more taxes, they just get increased and you have no option but to pay. ronosborne1955
  • Score: 4

5:56pm Fri 10 Jan 14

Landy44 says...

Just consider what your biggest cost is. What is the largest "investment" you make in your lifetime and does it represent "good value"....

It's a rhetorical question. The largest "investment" you make over your lifetime is the state! Which is delivering pretty poor services on the whole, and frankly continues to want more and more money from you. You have to pay because it is extorted with the threat of imprisonment.

There are countless public sector talking heads saying they need extra cash (see this story and the one above) or "there will be a crisis in ", but frankly it's time they learnt to cut their cloth to suit our income!

Personally, I don't want the state to do more - I want it to do less. A LOT less. In doing "more" and attempting to solve "more problems" they invariably make matters worse. Our welfare bill for example has spiralled out of control because decades ago it enabled those who needed it to avoid having to come off it (that's a generalisation I know). Yes we need to look after those who genuinely need help, BUT the state shouldn't be doing it, and frankly they have a monopoly on it right now! All they are doing is dragging everyone down through the over priced administration of public services, many of which should and could be provided more effectively and at lower cost by others.

@ronosborne1955. You do have an option not to pay, but there are consequences to the individual. Unfortunately whichever flavour of politics you vote in, nothing changes. They are however scared that the public will catch on to the scam that is running though!
Just consider what your biggest cost is. What is the largest "investment" you make in your lifetime and does it represent "good value".... It's a rhetorical question. The largest "investment" you make over your lifetime is the state! Which is delivering pretty poor services on the whole, and frankly continues to want more and more money from you. You have to pay because it is extorted with the threat of imprisonment. There are countless public sector talking heads saying they need extra cash (see this story and the one above) or "there will be a crisis in ", but frankly it's time they learnt to cut their cloth to suit our income! Personally, I don't want the state to do more - I want it to do less. A LOT less. In doing "more" and attempting to solve "more problems" they invariably make matters worse. Our welfare bill for example has spiralled out of control because decades ago it enabled those who needed it to avoid having to come off it (that's a generalisation I know). Yes we need to look after those who genuinely need help, BUT the state shouldn't be doing it, and frankly they have a monopoly on it right now! All they are doing is dragging everyone down through the over priced administration of public services, many of which should and could be provided more effectively and at lower cost by others. @ronosborne1955. You do have an option not to pay, but there are consequences to the individual. Unfortunately whichever flavour of politics you vote in, nothing changes. They are however scared that the public will catch on to the scam that is running though! Landy44
  • Score: 2

11:54am Sat 11 Jan 14

green49 says...

Incompetantly run councils are the big problem as whenever anything goes wrong the taxpayer has to pay, why? if its incompetance then the bill should fall on the shoulders of the incompetant IMO.
Incompetantly run councils are the big problem as whenever anything goes wrong the taxpayer has to pay, why? if its incompetance then the bill should fall on the shoulders of the incompetant IMO. green49
  • Score: 0

7:57am Mon 13 Jan 14

Andy-Apache says...

Trouble is, we live in a country where it has become the norm to reward failure more generously than success.

Look at golden handshakes running into millions for incompetent bankers who have lost the country billions. Expenses pots for MPs running into £100k's so they dont have to commute. A so called safety net (as has been mentioned) for some who just choose not to work.

If you're a failure, you'll do well. If you work hard, you'll be shafted to support the failures.
Trouble is, we live in a country where it has become the norm to reward failure more generously than success. Look at golden handshakes running into millions for incompetent bankers who have lost the country billions. Expenses pots for MPs running into £100k's so they dont have to commute. A so called safety net (as has been mentioned) for some who just choose not to work. If you're a failure, you'll do well. If you work hard, you'll be shafted to support the failures. Andy-Apache
  • Score: 0

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