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PCC Budget Cuts Labour responds

John Stockton, the unsuccessful Labour candidate in last year’s PCC elections, has responded to John Dwyer's police budget.

I read with interest that Cheshire's Police and Crime Commissioner, Mr Dwyer, has chosen to do the following: 'PCC forced to axe 38 police', this is not, of course, the case. Mr Dwyer has chosen to raise the police precept (police budget) by only 2%, which will lead to 38 front line police and 35 back office staff losing their jobs. Whilst I am pleased that he has not chosen to go down the road of this government's suggested budget freeze and accept a 1% inducement to do so, as this would lead to a further funding gap in the future, I would like to suggest that he goes a little further and increase it by slightly more (a matter of only a few pennies a week) to, say 3%, to further protect our front line police and the valuable back office staff who do such an important job in keeping us all safe. There is a danger that these cuts will further undermine Cheshire Police force's capacity to do their job effectively and keep us all safe. In view of the Chancellor's statement (i.e. autumn budget) on the government's future austerity programme, there is a real danger that this is just the start of many more cuts to Cheshire Police service to come. Whilst I realise that some people may say that we should keep budget rises to the minimum, and in the main I agree, I wonder however (in this case) if this is this too low a price to pay for all our personal safety? I urge Mr Dwyer to reconsider.

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