Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Who'd like a 9.8% pay rise...?

Fantastic news: Lincolnshire County Council is to receive a whopping 9.8 per cent more cash next year from the Labour Government.

The Tories who run our county council are desperately trying to find ways to avoid saying it's a hugely generous settlement.

But they can't wipe the ear-to-ear Cheshire cat grins from their faces.

That's not surprising.

It means the Labour Government has delivered an above-inflation grant to our county council EVERY year since coming to office - in stark contrast to year-on-year cuts in budgets - and services - Lincolnshire had to deal with last time the Tories were trusted to run the country.

Now we just need to sort out funding for Lincolnshire Police!


Anonymous said...

gloat, gloat, gloat!!!

Pitty they forgot about giving Lincoln City an increase too.

fairdealphil said...

some things are worth gloating about....!!!

Anonymous said...

I too am concerned about the apparent shortfall in police funding and, further, I do not know why when the same formulae to determine funding is used throughout the country. (If the formulae needs to be amended then this should be negotiated). It seems right to me that Metropolitan Areas and deprived inner cities receive additional funding. An analysis of Home Office statistics points to a much higher level of crime in these areas and many more community hostilities than in Lincolnshire. I believe the county receives funding for its rurality (sparsity I think it is called) and also millions for other initiatives. I do tire of hearing that this is not enough.

If crime is falling and the population in Lincolnshire continues to have an older bias then it seems wrong for the Police Authority to compare funding per head of the population with other forces. Metropolitan areas have greater demand on resources - protest and celebratory marches, diplomatic protection, airports, rail stations etc etc.

Many years ago, a report into the local police suggested that there were too many police sergeants, sickness levels and early retirement were also reportedly high. Has this situation improved Phil? I have downloaded the recent inspection report but have not got around to reading it. I will do so and compare with other forces of a similar nature. I have the strong feeling that the pension requirements is eating up a lot of the budget - am I right?

It is sad that the Treasury was not willing to fund the amalgamation of forces - economy of scale, expertise and I think a more effective service to the public. I am sure that all local authorities want to keep their autonomy but not convinced this is for the good of the community. When we want more money, we always use data to support our need and omit data which points to inefficient use of resources.

The local precept has increased at the maximum permitted by central government over recent years. It was not many years ago when Michael Kennedy, the Chair of the Authority was trying to persuade local people that paying one penny per day to the police was acceptable. The figure now is enormous and I for one am not happy. Neither am I happy about threats to reduce police numbers by 25% - this is being done to get additional funding but is abhorrent practice as it tries to raise fear in the local population many of whom are aged. We need to be concerned as the last league table produced by The Times showed Lincolnshire near the bottom of all forces. Interesting point - reduced crime, enormous funding increase, more staffing since the Labour government came to power, introduction of PCSOs, more fixed penalty notices, one in 6 crimes apparently screened out, District and Local Councils contribution their limited share of council tax to PCSO and yet we do not have enough funds.

One final point Phil. I was disappointed to note that PCSOs now have their own cars. I thought their purpose was to be the "face" in the community and they would be walking around communities. I suppose someone will tell me that they have to get themselves out into smaller hamlets. Nevertheless, it somehow does not sit right with me.

Hope this has not gone on and on....Oh well, at least you know that I am a supporter of the police albeit a critical one....Best wishes Liz (have to sign in as anonymous until I register a google account).