WITH police budgets having to absorb unprecedented demand, growing inflation levels, and the cost of government awarding a police pay rise without providing any additional funding, the proposed flat cash settlement means that Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) face a central government funding reduction.

To compensate for this disguised cut, the government has given PCCs additional flexibility to be able to raise their local policing precept by £12 a year. This would generate around £3.4m of additional funding in Dorset.

This policy is a mirror image of the one recently adopted by the government in respect of social care spending.

County councils have been allowed to raise extra funding for social care by raising an extra, dedicated council tax.

It cannot be right that the government keeps asking local rate-payers - in this case the rate-payers of Dorset - to pay more each year for what should be matters of national policy.

The police funding formula places rural forces like Dorset at a distinct disadvantage, since many forces receive around three quarters of their overall funding from central government, while Dorset receives roughly half.

In any case, with its relatively small population, this extra precept will contribute much less in rural areas like this one than in more densely populated, urban areas.

The government’s refusal to take responsibility for funding essential public services, by transferring the burden to local authorities, is a dereliction of duty.

Liberal Democrats are calling for the government to fully fund the care of our senior citizens, and the protection and safety of us all, from the national exchequer to which we all already contribute through our taxes.


Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Spokesperson,

North Dorset