The majority of the grant and other funding coming to the Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) is allocated to the Chief Constable in order for him to maintain an effective police force, which is used to fund salaries, allowances, pension commitments and operational running costs. Capital expenditure will also be incurred and used to invest in assets such as land, buildings, information technology, vehicles and equipment.
Following the Comprehensive Spending Review, Durham has seen a reduction in central government funding of around £20.0 million between 2010/11 and 2015/16, which makes financial planning and budget-setting both demanding and challenging.
Following consultation, it was agreed that the budget for 2015/16 be set at £112.6 million. This is met with £86.2 million from central government and £26.4 million from council tax.
The PCC is required to consult with the Chief Constable in setting the annual budget. As part of the process the PCC is required to obtain the views of the local community on the proposed expenditure in the financial year ahead.
How is the budget set?
The PCC and the Chief Constable share a responsibility to provide effective financial and budget planning for the short, medium and longer term. Each year, in consultation with the Chief Constable, the PCC is required to set a budget for the forthcoming year and to agree a medium term financial strategy that takes account of funding and spending plans for both revenue and capital.
The medium term financial plan should be aligned to the Police and Crime Plan and should take account of affordability, risk, use of reserves and the Prudential Code for Capital Finance in Local Authorities.
The majority of police funding is received through government grants that are issued by the Home Office. In addition to this, PCCs have been established as precepting authorities and can raise additional funding by setting a precept. This is charged to local householders as an element of Council Tax. To view the current Council Tax Leaflet, please click on the link below:
Medium Term Financial Plan
The medium term financial plan for the period 2015/16 to 2018/19 anticipates a continuation of the central government public sector funding reduction program to 2020. The medium term financial plan anticipates funding from central government to fall by 5.1% in 2015/16 and at least 3.2% each year from 2016/17 onwards.
The plan includes an assumption for a 2% increase in council tax but that may be subject to central government restrictions on future precept setting.
Improving services and delivering better outcomes for communities against a backdrop of budget cuts is a key challenge and priority for the PCC and Chief Constable.
Further information can be found within our financial documents, by clicking on the link below: