Police raid on the ‘rainy day’ reserve

Worcester News: Bill Longmore Bill Longmore

POLICE chiefs are to raid the reserves by £10 million to help plug gaping holes in the budget – leading to fears they are taking a risk.

Bill Longmore, the police and crime commissioner for West Mercia, wants to use cash from the ‘rainy day’ pot to balance his books between now and 2015.

Pressure to cut budgets from central government, as well as a decision to freeze the police portion of the council tax bill, has left a gaping black hole in the force’s finances.

The reserves pot, which has £22 million in it at the moment, will be raided by £3.5 million in April, £2.4 million next year and £4.3 million in 2015/16.

The reserves fund is designed to be used in emergencies, as a last resort to solve financial problems.

The move was debated during a recent meeting of the police and crime panel at County Hall, at which some politicians backed it while others said it was a risk.

Leader of Bromsgrove District Councillor Roger Hollingworth said: “Looking at this budget we are spending reserves that were built up over a long period despite admitting it is a risk.

“I don’t believe we should be using our reserves to help fund areas of the plan for the next three years.”

Others said it was the right move as the force is already cutting £21 million from the budget by 2015/16 and without using the reserves even more would need to be slashed.

Worcestershire County Council leader Adrian Hardman said: “I think he’s doing the entirely right thing here – the ratio of reserves we have is perfectly adequate and while I do see how some members think he’s taking a risk, this is existing taxpayers money that is sitting in reserves for entirely this purpose.

“It is the right strategy to take.”

Comments (2)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:02am Fri 15 Feb 13

sugarlump says...

lets hope it doesn't rain then!!
lets hope it doesn't rain then!! sugarlump
  • Score: 0

10:07am Fri 15 Feb 13

brooksider says...

If Adrian Hardman thinks it is the right thing to do, why was there £30 million, or 15% of annual running costs, in the reserves in 2011?

If a 5% ratio is adequate then why did he force us taxpayers too much in the first place?

Maybe Cameron was right to take away the responsibility of Police budgets away from local politicians, they obviously don't know what they are doing.
If Adrian Hardman thinks it is the right thing to do, why was there £30 million, or 15% of annual running costs, in the reserves in 2011? If a 5% ratio is adequate then why did he force us taxpayers too much in the first place? Maybe Cameron was right to take away the responsibility of Police budgets away from local politicians, they obviously don't know what they are doing. brooksider
  • Score: 0

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree