Giles Watling, MP for Clacton, is lobbying the Chancellor to secure the increase of police funding he attained after the successful campaign he led in 2017.

Giles’ previous campaign successfully saw a rise in the precept contributions by up to £1 a month during the 2017/18 Police Funding Settlement. This delivered £8.8m in additional funding for Essex Police and allowed for the recruitment of 150 new police officers in, bringing the total number in the county to over 3,000 – these officers are currently in training and will join local forces in the New Year.

Given the success of this campaign, Giles is keen that the next funding settlement should provide further resources to Essex Police, and met with Rt Hon Nick Hurd MP, Minister of State for Policing and Fire, to discuss the policing challenge in Essex.

Following that meeting, Giles has coordinated a letter from all backbench Essex MPs to the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rt Hon Philip Hammond MP, ahead of the Budget on 29th October 2018. The letter asked that:

  • The powers given to the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner, which allowed for increased precept contributions, be continued for future Police Funding Settlements. This will ensure that higher number of officers can be maintained and will enabling further investment in officers in the coming years.
  • The Treasury protect the finances of local police forces by covering the costs of recent changes to public sector pensions. These changes could have a significant impact on police finances and thereby prevent further investment in new and existing frontline officers, even though taxes may be raised.

Speaking about the letter, which you can read below, Giles said:

“Having led the campaign in Parliament to secure additional funding for the police by removing the cap on the police precept, I was disappointed to learn that further precept increases could be used to cover the costs of potential pension changes, rather than to finance planned investments. This is unfair on residents who will be paying more tax but won’t see more officers on their streets.

“The Treasury can cover the costs of these pension increases and give the Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner more flexibility to invest in our police force. I hope that the Chancellor recognises that in his Budget next week.”


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Letter to Chancellor on Police Funding 587.58 KB