A few days ago your Chairman, Cllr. Mary Newton, wrote to Essex Police & Crime Commissioner, Nick Alston. This is the reply from Nick Alston:
Dear Councillor Newton,
Thank you for your email regarding proposed cuts to funding, in particular to those affecting PCSOs, which are still currently subject to consultation with affected staff.
Whilst the announcements made by the Chancellor of the Exchequer were encouraging, significant financial challenges still remain for Essex Police and constabularies up and down the country. At present out best estimate is that Essex Police will need to find savings of between £10-12 million in 2016-17. Given that 83% of the force’s budget is spent on staff it is inevitable that moving forward the number of people employed by Essex Police will get smaller.
Most of the savings which will need to be made are a result of cost pressures such as changes to National Insurance and inflation that all police forces still have to meet. In addition, the government has indicated that part of the central funding may be “top-sliced”, in effect ring-fenced at the national level for certain specialist functions such as increasing the number of trained firearms officers.
The definitive figure will not be made known until the full financial detail of the Comprehensive Spending Review is shared by the Government in mid-December 2015. Over the coming weeks the Chief Constable and I will be discussing in detail how to deliver the £10-12million in savings we still need to find next year. We are aiming to complete this work as soon as possible as currently valued members of police staff, including highly professional and highly valued PCSOs, remain unsure of their future.
Once any decisions are made the Chief Constable and I will of course make them public and to this end please do visit my website (www.essex.pcc.police.uk) where news article and blogs are regularly published.
Thank you for your correspondence.
Nick Alston CBE
Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex
Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Essex
3 Hoffmanns Way | Chelmsford | Essex CM1 1GU | T: 01245 291600
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Web: http://www.essex.pcc.police.uk
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