Warwickshire Police is in a good financial position to be able to meet the savings it needs to make over the next five years, according to Ron Ball.
The Police and Crime Commissioner was speaking in response to a report published this month by the National Audit Office on the financial sustainability of police forces.
Thanks to good financial planning, Warwickshire Police is better placed than many other forcesRon Ball
Warwickshire’s financial reserves currently stand at £35.2 million, with £7.7 million held as general reserves to provide for planned financial expenditure and to protect against the costs of unplanned events, such as major incidents or large investigations.
Mr Ball said Warwickshire’s “positive reserve position” had been achieved through a combination of sound financial management, efficiency savings delivered as part of the force’s alliance with West Mercia Police, and budget underspends in the previous financial year.
Up until 2020, the Commissioner’s current plan anticipates annual reductions in the government grant of 3.2 per cent, offset in part by council tax increases of two per cent. A total of 56 per cent of the budget expenditure of £95.09 million in 2015/16 will be met from government grants, with the balance being met from council tax income and the use of reserves.
This will mean that, by 2020, the level of reserves is expected to reduce to £10.7 million.
Permanent savings of £12.5 million are expected to be delivered over the same period.
“I’m sure that many people when setting their own household budgets are familiar with the idea of ‘putting something aside for a rainy day’ and that is the type of approach we have taken here,” said Mr Ball.
“There is no doubt that the next five years will be difficult in terms of continuing to provide the service that the public expects within the context of reducing budgets, but thanks to good financial planning, Warwickshire Police is better placed than many other forces to be able to meet this challenge.”