Assembly hears concerns over Met budget planning
The continuing lack of an agreed plan to reform the Met and generate long term savings is an ‘unresolved concern’ for Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC), the London Assembly heard today.
At a meeting of the Assembly’s Budget and Performance Committee, the Met assured Assembly Members that it would be able to balance the books for 2013/14. However, the HMIC’s Stephen Otter warned that they still lacked an agreed plan for the rest of the Comprehensive Spending Review (CSR) period, up till 2015.
Bob Atkins, Treasurer of the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime, went on to comment that the Met was ‘behind the curve’ in comparison with other forces in terms of reform and long-term savings. In December 2010 the then Deputy Mayor for Policing, Kit Malthouse, had told the Committee that detailed planning needed to happen before the Olympics, allowing him to ‘push the button’ immediately after the Games.
John Biggs AM, Chair of the Budget and Performance Committee said:
“While I’m glad to hear that the Met is on track to deliver a balanced budget for 2013/14, the scale of the long-term challenge is immense. By the end of the CSR in 2015, the Met will need to have cut a total of £500m from its budget, while still maintaining the level of service Londoners have come to expect.”
“The HMIC’s ongoing concerns about the Met’s budget gap are a timely reminder that while some progress has been made, a great deal still needs to be done.”
Notes for Editors:
1. Watch a webcast of the meeting, from about 10min in.
2. In its July 2012 report Policing in Austerity: One year on, the HMIC had warned that the Met was one of three forces which ‘may not be able to provide a sufficiently efficient or effective service for the public in the future’ due to the scale of the budget cuts.
3. 3. Meetings of the Budget and Performance Committee
4. The Chair of the Budget and Performance Committee, John Biggs AM, is available for interview. See contact details below.
5. As well as investigating issues that matter to Londoners, the London Assembly acts as a check and a balance on the Mayor.
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