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Written Statement - Provisional Police Settlement 2014-15

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Lesley Griffiths AM, Minister for Local Government and Government Business

I am publishing today my proposals for the Welsh Government component of funding to Police and Crime Commissioners (PCCs) for policing in Wales for 2014-15.  This includes details of the provisional allocations of the core unhypothecated funding provided through Revenue Support Grant (RSG) which each PCC in Wales can expect to receive for the forthcoming financial year (tables 1, 2 and 3 attached).

Police funding is not wholly devolved and the overall package of central funding is determined by the Home Office’s decisions on the Police Grant. Funding will be distributed across all PCCs in England and Wales in accordance with a distribution formula operated by the Home Office.  The Home Office is also responsible for providing funding to ensure no police force has to take a cut in resources of more than minus 4.8% for 2014-15, when compared on a like-for-like basis with 2013-14.  The overall impact of the Settlement and Home Office floor damping is that every force in England and Wales has the same percentage reduction for 2014-15.

This is a challenging Settlement for the police service which will require them to make tough choices in order to protect front-line policing.  I encourage police forces in Wales to build on their commendable collaborative efforts in recent years which are driving efficiency and innovation during these difficult times.  I urge the Commissioners to continue to pursue similar opportunities to work together with other public sector organisations where shared outcomes are identified.

The role of the Commissioners in setting their annual budget and local Council Tax precept is one for which they are directly accountable to their electorates.  In consultation with their Chief Constable and the public, each Commissioner must set out a five-year Police and Crime Plan taking account of local circumstances.  The Commissioners have powers to distribute grants provided by central government for the delivery of police services and to support local priorities.

Today marks the start of a consultation period which will end on 23 January 2014.

The timing of this statement has been determined by the Home Office announcement of Police Grant for forces in England and Wales.  This statement is being issued during recess in order to keep Members informed.  Should Members wish me to make a further statement or to answer questions on this statement when the Assembly returns I would be happy to do so.