Don’t slash our police force begs councillor

Brendan Hughes.
Brendan Hughes.

A Labour city councillor says police funding cuts would put us all at risk.

Brendan Hughes wants Lancaster City Council to write to the Home Secretary demanding that proposed £24.8m cuts to Lancashire police be reversed.

Coun Hughes, who represents Poulton ward – home of Morecambe Police Station – said: “Lancashire has been recognised as an outstanding police force by government inspectors and praised for their efficiency, yet in spite of this they face seeing the biggest reduction in their budget of any force in the country outside of London.”

As we went to press, Coun Hughes was set to speak at a city council meeting calling for all party leaders to lobby MPs and government ministers to “ensure the impact of these funding proposals is fully understood”.

But David Morris, Conservative MP for Morecambe and Lunesdale, blamed Clive Grunshaw, Police and Crime Commissioner for Lancashire, for “scaremongering”.

“Funding decisions under the new formula have not yet been set and no decisions on funding will be made until the Comprehensive Spending Review reports in November,” said Mr Morris.

“The Police and Crime Commissioner elections coming up in May next year are no excuse to use your position to make a political statement which scares vulnerable people in my constituency.

“If this figure comes out and it does have a detrimental effect on policing in my constituency, believe me, I’ll be the first one who’ll be standing up, and have done so many times in the past.”

Mr Grunshaw said in last week’s Guardian that Lancashire will lose more than 1,100 police officers by 2020. The county has lost £63m from its budget since 2010.