Policing minister’s visit to Lincolnshire force will see ‘unsustainable’ cuts discussed
Lincolnshire chief constable Neil Rhodes has said that he and the police and crime commissioner Alan Hardwick are looking forward to welcoming policing minister Mike Penning to the force for his promised visit today.
“The Commissioner and I said after our return from the meeting in Westminster last month that it was our intention to continue to make the case with Government for a proper funding base for the force,” said Mr Rhodes.
“The issue of sustainable funding for Lincolnshire will be top of the agenda when the Minister visits and we will be able to explain and demonstrate to him face to face the major problem for the force which will arise from 2016. This is when the force faces potential cuts that are quite simply unsustainable so this visit will be an important part of our continuing dialogue with the Government.”
Shortly after the Minister’s visit Mr Rhodes said the force was expecting a visit from his fact finding team consisting of a number of civil servants. “They will be looking closely at our finances and scrutinising our bid for additional funding through a Home Office special grant,” said Mr Rhodes.
“The Commissioner and I were very positive when we returned from the visit to Westminster and are thoroughly looking forward to showing the Minister, the force in action.”
Police and crime commissioner Alan Hardwick said he and the chief constable were encouraged by the ongoing dialogue with the Home Office. “The Government is taking notice of Lincolnshire and if other forces policed like us, the Government could save hundreds of millions of pounds without having to cut us back year after year,” said Mr Hardwick. “We will use the opportunity next week to explain how we have achieved the accolade of ‘outstanding’ in the HIMIC report on value for money policing.”
“Everyone is now listening to us,” said Mr Hardwick. “The Government is listening, the Home Secretary is listening, the Policing Minster is listening. We are being taken seriously. We are a force to be reckoned with in saving money, while delivering outstanding results for the people of Lincolnshire.” he said.