Calls made for protest over police cash cuts

Portsmouth councillors have said enough is enough when it comes to police funding cuts in Hampshire
Portsmouth councillors have said enough is enough when it comes to police funding cuts in Hampshire
The two men police would like to speak to. PICTURE: Hampshire Constabulary

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PORTSMOUTH councillors have said enough is enough when it comes to police funding cuts in Hampshire.

Lib Dem councillors are calling for political group leaders to appeal to Westminster to save £3.67m of police funding that is due to be cut.

At next week’s cabinet meeting the council will decide whether leader Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson will write to Home Secretary Sajid Javid with the backing of opposition Tory boss Cllr Donna Jones and Labour leader Cllr Stephen Morgan.

Former Lib Dem councillor for Southsea, Lee Hunt, proposed the motion while in office and it was seconded by colleague Cllr Rob Wood.

The motion said: ‘The council notes the decision of the government to cut funding to Hampshire police by £3.67m for next year. Also it will not provide any funding to cover inflation. This makes it a real terms cut of £7m to Hampshire police. The city council condemns this decision and believes this will make residents in Portsmouth less safe and will mean real cuts to the police.’

Council leader Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson said the motion was about encouraging an open debate on the cuts. He said: ‘Councillors should be able to discuss this and that includes all councillors across all parties. The council is there to speak on behalf of the city. If we are going to remain silent then something is wrong. We want to have openness and transparency, moving away from party rule.

‘We have got to make sure we do the best for the people of Portsmouth.’

Cllr Morgan, also Portsmouth South MP, added: ‘Last month I wrote to the new home secretary asking he take a fresh look at Portsmouth’s share of the budget. He said, through his minister, that he won’t.

‘Our city deserves better.’

The £3.67m figure would be the amount cut from a central government grant. In total Hampshire Constabulary has been told by government that they need to save around £24.75m in the next four years.