A COVENTRY MP has welcomed news that West Midlands Police will not be cut as severely by the government as previously expected.
Politicians say the government has listened to their ‘Fair Funding’ campaign – and the force will now face £93million of cuts over five years, rather than £130million.
They say the £36.9million extra now expected in chancellor George Osborne’s spending review next month is a result of the Home Office bowed to demands for a fairer deal for the West Midlands.
The region’s police and crime commissioner, David Jamieson, had previously claimed the force faced a ‘catastrophe’ over a new funding formula – and warned of 2,500 job more police job losses.
The force has already had its government funding cut by more than £100million since 2010, which has resulted in around 2000 officer and civlian job losses.
Mr Jamieson estimated the West Midlands force had already been hit twice as hard as some other forces in England and Wales.
Coventry South Labour MP Jim Cunningham said: “I am pleased that the government has given ground on what was a rightful claim from West Midlands Police.
“I took part in a debate in the House of Commons on September 9 which called on the government to give our police more money to avoid the sort of draconian cuts which would inevitably put the public at risk.
“They have listened to that argument. Now they must make sure they follow through on that promise and also correct the funding anomalies which has seen West Midlands Police treated unfairly in the last five years.”
The new Home Office formula is now estimated to see the proportion of funding the force receives increase from 6.11 per cent to 6.63 per cent of the total funding to all forces in England and Wales.
The force’s budget currently stands at £500million.
Mr Jamieson said the decision was “a victory for common sense,” and that he will continue to press the government to make sure the changes are delivered in full.
Mr Jamieson said: “The West Midlands Police has faced double the cuts of other forces other the last five years.
“I’m determined to make sure that we are not disproportionately hit again.
“I won’t be satisfied until we have actually received the money and will keep pressing until it is actually delivered.”
Mr Jamieson believes the government need to consider how much money police forces require to keep people safe rather than see administer arbitrary cuts.
He added: “West Midlands Police has the second lowest Council Tax take in the country which means we are more reliant on government funding.
“The government needs to look at this area and the lack of flexibility of it in future.
“There are still outstanding issues with the formula and we look forward to working with the government to improve it in the future.”