To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department which police forces in England and Wales are receiving funding (a) above the formula funding level, (b) at the formula funding level and (c) below the formula funding level; and what action he is taking to ensure that all forces receive funding in line with the formula.
Government funding for police authorities is chiefly allocated using a funding formula that distributes resources on the basis of relative need and resources. A damping mechanism subsequently applied to protect all authorities against financial instability ensures all authorities receive an increase in grant at least equal to the "floor" level on a like-for-like basis year-on-year. Grant floors are an integral part of the finance system.
In 2005–06, every police authority will receive the amount of grant to which it is entitled under "The Police Grant Report (England and Wales) 2005/06", "The Local Government Finance Report (England) 2005/06", and "The Local Government Finance Report No 2 2005/06" for Wales.
In 2004–05, all police authorities received a grant increase around 3.25 per cent. For 2005–06 it has been possible to reintroduce recognition of relative need, and grant increases range from the floor of 3.75 per cent. to 6.81 per cent. Grant provisions before and after damping are given in the following table.
We are currently reviewing the funding formulae and will be consulting local authorities during the summer of 2005 on the formulae for the 2006–07 settlement.
|Police authority||Before damping(43)||After damping(43)||Effect of damping|
|Devon and Cornwall||171.2||173.0||1.8|
|Avon and Somerset||172.2||170.0||-2.2|
(43) Rounded to the nearest £100,000. Calculated using the Police Funding Formula 2005–06.
(44) Rounded to the nearest £100,000. Calculated under the Police Grant Report (England and Wales), the Local Government Finance Report (England) and The Local Government Finance Report No 2 for Wales. Figures include the effects of floor damping.
(45) Because the Welsh Assembly does not operate a grant damping mechanism ('funding floor and ceiling'), the Home Secretary has for several years provided additional funding to ensure Welsh police authorities receive at least a minimum increase in grant in line with English authorities. A total of £13.9 million will be allocated to Welsh police authorities in 2005–06 to bring their allocations in line with the grant floor level.
(46) Figures for the City of London Police are excluded because these are allocated to the Common Council of the City of London as a whole in respect of all its functions. The City is grouped with Education Authorities for grant damping purposes.