This blog is mainly about the governance and future of policing and crime services. (Police & Crime Commissioners feature quite a lot.) But there are also posts about the wider justice system. And because I am town councillor and political activist, local & national issues are covered a little, as well.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Distributing the partnership money

One of the issues that emerged at the recent Thames Valley Police & Crime Panel conference (which I reported on here and here) was the way in which some of the 'and crime' monies will be distributed. There appeared to be some tension between the PCC and PCP over this matter which (I am guessing) was discussed at the previous PCP meeting.

I thought I would do some investigating, so I wrote to the Thames Valley OPCC with this set of questions:
I understand from talking with officers in AVDC that the PCC is yet to decide on how his budget for supporting local community safety partnerships is to be allocated across Thames Valley in the future. I assume that no change was made to the existing allocation formula for the current financial year and Mr Stansfeld stuck with the arrangements established by the previous police authority. Am I correct in this assumption? If not, please could I have details. 
Secondly, on the assumption that Mr Stansfeld may decide to change the allocation formula for the next financial year (14/15), may I ask what is the timetable for this decision and what will be the process for reaching it? For example will there be public consultation? Will the PCP be involved? Will other local council representatives be able to have their say (including parish & town councils)? Please can I have all available information about this process that is available and (if there is little at present) some idea when such information will become available.
Here is the reply I received the other day:
The process used to allocate the PCC’s new Community Safety Fund (CSF) grant in 2013/14 is explained in the attached report, which also includes a table showing the allocation to each relevant local authority. This includes an element for community safety partnerships.
The Office of the PCC is currently developing a new needs based funding formula to improve the equity and fairness of CSF grant allocations across the Thames Valley, whilst taking into account the impact of the Government’s financial austerity agenda on future levels of public sector funding. By the end of September 2013 we will communicate to relevant local authorities (i.e. those currently in receipt of CSF grant) the proposed funding formula and indicative grant allocations for the period 2014/15 to 2016/17, including appropriate damping arrangements to limit, as far as reasonably possible, the year-on-year change in grant allocation.
This process will not be subject to formal public consultation nor will we consult with parish or town councils. As outlined above relevant local authorities will be informed.
So it would seem that:
  • From the referenced report, everyone took a pro rata hit as the money available was about £1/2m less than the previous year
  • A new formula is in development and will be announced in a few weeks time
  • Things could be changing quite a lot if 'damping' measures are being talked about
  • The aim is to improve 'equity & fairness'. Hmm. I wonder how that will be interpreted?
  • There will be no wide or public consultation. But will the current recipients get to have their say? I wonder....?
Watch this space...

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