Hartlepool MP’s appeal to Chancellor over police funding cuts

Hartlepool MP Mike Hill. Picture by FRANK REID
Hartlepool MP Mike Hill. Picture by FRANK REID

Hartlepool MP Mike Hill has joined his Labour colleague in the Tees Valley to write to the Chancellor over poilce funding ahead of the Budget this week.

Labour Tees Valley MP’s, including Hartlepool Mr Hill, have sent a joint letter to the Chancellor of the Exchequer Philip Hammond ahead of this week’s Budget to set out the local impact of Government cuts to police funding, that nationally will mean £700m less per year for policing to 2020/21.

They say that Cleveland Police since 2010/11 is £40m worse off (36%) in real terms, with a loss of some 500 officers and PCSO’s.

The letter to the Chancellor states: “We are of the firm belief that the forthcoming budget must provide a formula for adequate and fair funding for policing in general and our local Cleveland Force in particular.

“That must include fully funded provision for wage rises to officers and staff.
“The requirement to make Police and Crime Commissioners find this from existing budgets will divert crucial funding away from frontline policing as well as essential discretionary spending on matters such as Victim support, measures to combat people trafficking, modern slavery and community cohesion.”

Mike Hill MP says: “Cleveland Police is high performing and ambitious and it is crucial that we retain a Police Service that is appropriately funded and is able to deliver the highest levels of service to the people of the Tees Valley and Hartlepool.

“My post bag is full of emails calling for improvements in Tackling rising crime in the Cleveland Force area and for there to be more Bobbies and PCSO’s on the streets.

“The police are struggling now to provide an efficient service and any further financial pressures will set them back even further.

“The people of Hartlepool need to know that their communities are safe and protected, which is why fairer funding is crucial in order to achieve that end.”

It comes after Cleveland Police and Crime Commissioner Barry Coppinger called on local politicians to outline the impact funding cuts are having on the service.

The force is now facing a further cut due to inflation and other rising costs, with the government indicating a standstill settlement for next year.

Cleveland Police would need to find up to £3million of savings if the situation remains unchanged, which is the equivalent of 60 police officer reductions every year.

He said: “This is as serious a situation as I have faced in the five years since I was first elected Commissioner. I will continue to lobby the Home Secretary and Prime Minister for fairer funding and I would urge MPs of all parties to do the same.”