Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pounds 500,000 Lifeline for Frontline Police; Council Agrees Payment to Protect Service

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Pounds 500,000 Lifeline for Frontline Police; Council Agrees Payment to Protect Service

Article excerpt

Byline: Neil McKay

CIVIC bosses yesterday agreed to give cash-strapped police an extra half a million pounds to avoid cuts to frontline services.

Durham Police had to set a reduced budget to avoid council tax capping, so asked Durham County Council for pounds 500,000 to avoid having to make cuts.

The County Council Cabinet yesterday agreed the "one-off" payment, despite Nigel Martin, leader of the opposition Liberal Democrats, warning that the payment was "poor economics."

Two months ago, the Durham Police Authority agreed a 4.97% increase in its share of the council tax to keep beneath the 5% ceiling set by the Government.

Last year, the authority levied a huge 34.65% increase in its share of the council tax bill - despite a 5% limit - saying there would be big cuts in frontline policing without it.

The Government took no action.

Police authority chairman Peter Thompson said that the pounds 500,000 would "safeguard jobs, frontline policing. …

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