Joint report of the Chamberlain and the Commissioner of Police.
The Committee considered a joint report of the Chamberlain and Commissioner which, following the Government’s announcement of the provisional police funding settlement for 2016/17 in December, provided an update on the draft medium term financial plan presented to your Committee and the Finance Committee in September 2015.
During the discussion, comments were made as follows –
The Commissioner confirmed that he had taken a decision to increase the number of firearms officers in the City which would increase the total number of warranted officers by 10 above the numbers shown in the paper. The Chancellor had said in his autumn statement that central government funding would be available to increase the firearms capability across policing nationally, but it was still not certain how much, if any funding the force would be eligible to receive and operational concerns required the uplift to be made now.
· The Commissioner was certain we would receive some central funding, and he was committed to making further efficiencies in the force, but was not confident at this stage, given the level of reductions and efficiencies made over the past few years, that this would address the funding challenge in its entirety.
The Chairman sought a view from the Committee regarding supporting an increase in the business rate premium. The Chairman of the Policy and Resources Committee expressed a view that before making a decision, it was important to be explicitly clear on the proposals. In reply, a view was expressed by some Members who stated they would support an increase in the business rate premium in order to ensure greater resilience within the Force. In addition, further monies would enable an increase in Police Officers. Some Members of the Committee considered that businesses and residents would support the increase.
RESOLVED – That,
a) the latest forecast outturn for 2015/16 be noted;
b) the revenue budget for 2016/17 be approved for submission to the Finance Committee;
c) the capital budget for 2016/17 be approved;
d) the indicative deficits forecast for 2017/18 and 2018/19 be noted; and
e) a further report (or reports) be presented on the strategy for restoring financial balance by 2017/18 together with an updated programme of capital and major revenue projects over the medium term. These will be prepared in time for the Resource Allocation Sub Committee Away-Weekend on 24/25 June.
f) That a resolution be submitted to the Policy and Finance and Resources Committees in support of increasing the business rate premium.