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'I am not giving up' on issue of fairer funding for Suffolk's police force, police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore vows, as figures reveal the county gets £5 less per head than Norfolk constabulary



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Suffolk's police and crime commissioner has vowed to continue fighting for fairer funding of the county's police force, after revealing that some police forces elsewhere in the country get nearly double the amount of funding than here.

Police and crime commissioner Tim Passmore told Friday's Suffolk Public Sector Leaders meeting of civic chiefs that Suffolk receives £5 less per head than Norfolk's force for policing, while constabularies in Merseyside and the West Midlands were not far off double the amount in Suffolk.

"I am promised for the third time that there is going to be a funding formula review for policing, this is in the Home Office settlement," he said.

Tim Passmore, Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk
Tim Passmore, Police and Crime Commissioner for Suffolk

"I know I sound like a stuck record on this, but I am not giving up on the issue regarding funding, and I know Suffolk gets a pretty poor deal in nearly every other area of the public sector.

"But just to put it into perspective, we get £5 per resident in Suffolk less than in Norfolk, so 5x760,000 people shows you the gap there.

"We get £114 per resident from the Home Office grant, and if you compare that with places like Merseyside and the West Midlands, Merseyside gets £217 from the Home Office grant per person, West Midlands £199.

Suffolk's police and crime commissioner has vowed to continue fighting for fairer funding of the county's police force, after revealing that some police forces elsewhere in the country get nearly double the amount of funding than here
Suffolk's police and crime commissioner has vowed to continue fighting for fairer funding of the county's police force, after revealing that some police forces elsewhere in the country get nearly double the amount of funding than here

"Now this discrepancy is so big, and with the levelling up agenda, at least some progress would be required because this is about the future of Suffolk, good policing."

The numbers put the state of Suffolk's funding into 'stark reality', Mr Passmore said, explaining that the county was only above Essex on per-head funding figures nationally.

He vowed that the public sector leaders group would 'do our very best to get a better deal for Suffolk'.

Around two thirds of policing budgets come from government grants, with a third generated from the police precept element of the council tax bill.

Mr Passmore was forced to raise the precept by 4.69 per cent for this year - around 19p per week for a Band D property, to help adequately fund the force.

It is not the first time the issue of police funding has been expressed at the public sector leaders group.

In 2019 a letter was penned to Rishi Sunak, then Minister for Local Government, which explained Suffolk was underfunded in council cash.

But it also made the case for police and health services too.

"The challenges we face in Suffolk relate not just to local government, but also to Police and NHS partners," the letter said.

"Should the overall quantum of funding for public services not be properly addressed then vital services will become under unreasonable pressure.

"We request that the current approach of short-term solutions and 'sticking plaster' grant funding be stopped to allow us to take a longer-term approach to the planning of local public services.

"It is important that the approach to local government funding is sustainable and stable so councils can develop budget strategies and transform and deliver services in a way which delivers best value for taxpayers."

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