Rasen MP renews calls for a fairer funding deal for county police

MP Sir Edward Leigh. EMN-180123-093658001
MP Sir Edward Leigh. EMN-180123-093658001

Market Rasen MP Sir Edward Leigh has made a renewed call for a fairer funding deal for Lincolnshire Police.

Speaking in a House of Commons debate, Sir Edward said Lincolnshire was the lowest funded police authority per head of population in the country.

His words come as the county’s Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Marc Jones and Chief Constable Bill Skelly finalise their budget for next year,

Sir Edward was speaking before confirmation that Lin colnshire - in line with other forces, - can secure more funding, if Mr Jones opts to hike council tax bills.

In a Commons debate on funding, Sir Edward said: “During the last hour or so members have quite rightly been standing up for their own areas, but nobody can say what I am going to say.

“As the Minister knows from his frequent meetings with Lincolnshire MPs, Lincolnshire is the lowest funded police authority per head in the country - just £88 compared with £99 for Norfolk, a comparable authority.

“The Minister knows that from our meetings, and he knows that Marc Jones, our excellent commissioner, is now warning that we might lose all our PCSOs and see the complete end of community policing in Lincolnshire.

“He knows that Bill Skelly, our excellent chief constable, has warned that he might lose up to 60 police officers.

“He knows, too, that after years of belt-tightening going back over the 35 years that I have been in this House we cannot save £16 million over the next three years.

“So I beg the police Minister to raise his eyes from his excellent brief and convince us in Lincolnshire that we are going to get a fair funding formula.

“This is about justice.”

Nick Hurd, The Minister of State, confirmed the Government was making more funding available via council tax legislation and grants.

Mr Hurd said: “He (Sir Edward) and others have a powerful case to make on behalf of Lincolnshire, a force that does excellent work under extremely difficult circumstances and is extremely well led, not least by Marc Jones.”