Relief in Hampshire as plans to hack back police funding are abandoned in Chancellor’s Autumn Statement

Hampshire police's chief constable Andy Marsh, left, with Simon Hayes, the police and crime commissioner
Hampshire police's chief constable Andy Marsh, left, with Simon Hayes, the police and crime commissioner
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POLICE chiefs have told of their relief after the chancellor scrapped plans to slash the force’s budget.

Announcing his Autumn Statement, George Osborne revealed police forces in the UK would not be hit by sweeping cutbacks.

The news was welcomed by Hampshire Constabulary’s chief constable Andy Marsh who said: ‘The public are the real winners in today’s decision.

‘Crime is changing and so is policing.

‘The cuts of recent years have been hard and there remain difficult times ahead, but we must now take this opportunity.

‘To meet the needs of the victims of tomorrow and to build morale among police officers and staff we must keep innovating.’

There had been fears that police forces, nationally, could lose out on up to 20 per cent of their government funding.

The revelation has also been celebrated by the county’s police and crime commissioner, Simon Hayes.

He said: ‘For over a year I’ve been calling on the government not to cut Hampshire and the Isle of Wight’s police funding any further.

‘I’m pleased that the danger to public safety of more cuts has now been recognised.’

Portsmouth South MP Flick Drummond said: ‘The population is rightly concerned about security and this is particularly pertinent in our city, which has a major military base.’

Portsmouth North MP Penny Mordaunt added she was ‘delighted’ the chancellor had ‘listened to concerns on tax credits and on police budgets’.

Other proposals outlined by Mr Osborne included benefits for museums and businesses.

The chancellor also backed down on plans to scrap tax credits and offered a boost for those looking to get on the property ladder, pledging to build 400,000 new homes.

This news prompted concern from Portsmouth’s former council leader Gerald Vernon-Jackson.

Cllr Vernon-Jackson said the move could impact future council house developments, arguing that some residents would not be able to afford to buy their own homes.

But Havant MP Alan Mak said the housing boost would be a good thing for the area.

Tim Forer, a partner at Portsmouth law firm Blake Morgan, said the government was allowing more decisions to be taken at local levels.

He added he was delighted to see cash being invested in military history projects, including the Royal Marines Museum and D-Day Museum.