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17 February 2011, 06:00 | Updated: 2 March 2011, 12:52
Hertfordshire Police Authority met yesterday (Wednesday February 16th) to discuss their budget for the year.
In line with most other authorities, it agreed to freeze the amount of Council Tax people will pay for policing in 2011/12.
The decision was made despite the Authority facing a 20% cut in Government funding over the next four years. At the same time, the Authority pledged to maintain Neighbourhood Policing Teams at their current levels and minimise the impact on frontline policing.
Speaking after the meeting, Chair of Hertfordshire Police Authority, Stuart Nagler, said: “We have a strong track record in providing value for money and now face one of the biggest challenges ever, with £36m in savings to find in the next four years. But I believe the budget we set today will enable Hertfordshire to remain one of the top police forces in the country.
“There have been difficult choices but maintaining officers and staff on our streets had to be our greatest priority. It will mean we have to find different, more innovative ways to deliver our services, including more collaboration with other forces, closer working with partners in the county, and more productive ways of working for our officers and staff. It will be demanding, especially since the cutbacks in Government funding have been front loaded, meaning a higher percentage of savings have to be achieved in the first two years. But planning started early and I am confident that Hertfordshire Constabulary can continue to deliver the high levels of service we have come to expect.”
Stuart added: “In total, savings of £11.8m are needed in the next twelve months so, even with our comprehensive savings plans, it will mean a reduction in officer and staff numbers. However, because of the vacancy freeze that was put in place last summer, we expect that most of these reductions will be achieved without redundancies.”
Chief Constable Frank Whiteley said: “Whilst difficult decisions have to be made, our focus remains on delivering frontline services to the people of Hertfordshire. We are determined to sustain our performance, even with reduced resources, and will find ways to do this by working differently.”