Cumbria Police faces funding cuts of up to £26m

Cumbria Police chiefs fear they could have to make further savings of £26m, after already cutting spending by £20m.

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Cuts to Cumbria Police budget postponed

Credit: ITV Border

Proposed cuts to Cumbria Police have been delayed after the Government admitted it made an "embarrassing" mistake in calculating the savings.

The Constabulary had been facing cuts of £26million in 2016/17 under Home Office proposals but it's been revealed an error with the funding formula actually meant the force would need to save more the £31million.

Today the Policing Minister Mike Penning MP apologised for the error and said that Cumbria Police's 2016/17 budget would now be based on the existing formula.

"I and the government regret this mistake and I apologise to the House.

"I also apologise to the 43 authorities I wrote to during the extended consultation period as part of the funding formula review."

– Mike Penning MP, Policing Minister

Cumbria's Police and Crime Commissioner Richard Rhodes and Chief Constable Jerry Graham have welcomed the announcement but say they still fear the impact of the Government's Comprehensive Spending Review on the force's budget.

“I welcome the announcement from Policing Minister, Mike Penning today in the House of Commons to delay the implementation of the changes currently being consulted on under the police funding formula.

“The existing funding formula will be used for the 2016/17 budget year.

“I welcome that the funding formula will now be consulted upon properly and robustly and will ask to be part of any discussions about the future of the formula.

“However, the financial situation in Cumbria remains challenging and we wait with some trepidation the announcement about future budget cuts under the Comprehensive Spending Review to be announced on 25 November.”

– Richard Rhodes, Cumbria Police and Crime Commissioner

“I am pleased that the Home Office is delaying the changes in the funding formula at this time.

“The policing budget is still unclear whilst we await the outcome of the Comprehensive Spending Review on the 26th November.

“The work we have done recently outlines the massive operational impact that significant level of cuts would have on policing services in Cumbria. Previous proposals would have left policing unrecognisable in the county.

“We continue to support the Police and Crime Commissioner to feed back the implications that further reductions in our budget would have on policing the county effectively.”

– Chief Constable Jerry Graham, Cumbria Police

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