Wednesday, 8 October 2008

Will Boris Johnson cut police numbers in London?

The London Assembly have asked for assurances that police numbers will not fall as it became clear that Boris Johnson will implement the first real-terms cut in their funding for years.

With inflation growing, Boris's planned 1.25 per cent growth in the police and fire budget will mean a real terms shortfall of £72 million.

According to the Assembly's pre-budget report:

"Kit Malthouse AM acknowledged the scale of reductions that will be necessary, telling us that he expected grants to remain ‘on the floor’ in future years, and confirmed to us that this would mean the Metropolitan Police Authority would be looking for ‘big ticket’ savings in 2010/11 and 2011/12.

There are no detailed efficiency proposals to support the MPA’s savings targets, and there is as yet no evidence to demonstrate that the targets are achievable through genuine efficiencies rather than service cuts."

Because for all the spin before the election about the GLA being 'mired in waste' the much-promised 'big ticket savings' have so far not been found. 

For an example of this just think back to this promise made shortly after winning the election:

Boris Johnson, the new Mayor of London, is to slash advertising budgets for the Greater London Authority, including the Metropolitan Police and Transport for London, to pay for more police on the capital's streets.

Reiterating his manifesto promise, Johnson said that funding of £16.5m for an extra 440 police community support officers to patrol buses and Tube stations will come from cutting Transport for London's advertising budget.

So what happened? Take a look at today's report:

The Mayor’s manifesto pledged to fund these officers by reducing the Metropolitan Police Service’s communications budget. However, this has not proved to be possible and the funding will now be provided by Transport for London.

And with Malthouse's promised 'big-ticket savings' still hiding in the wings, it remains to be seen just what cuts will now need to be brought out to the front line.


Helen said...

When have Tory budget "savings" *ever* been achieved through genuine efficiencies rather than service cuts?

ch paul said...

Poor old Red Boris doesn't know which way to turn. On the one hand he wants to indulge his inner Tory by slashing 'bureaucracy' but then his inner common sense knows that you're not going to cut knife crime if you cut the funding to all of the Met's campaigns.

The end result is of course that nothing ends up changing, just lots of tiny changes to the status quo.

Anonymous said...

It's also worth remembering how outraged Boris was when Labour said that he would cut back police funding. He even called a point of order on it during prime minister's questions.

The Troll said...

Indeed. Just to remind everyone, here is the coverage of it from Fraser Nelson back in January.

"The best part of PMQs came just after it ended, in the form of an irate Boris Johnson. "I am sure the Prime Minister inadvertently misled the House when he said I want to cut spending on the Metropolitan Police"... Boris had just done what the other Tories should do all the time: refuse to put up with falsehoods said by the Prime Minister."

I'm looking forward to seeing Fraser heckling Boris at the next MQT.

Tom said...

Aargh - too much hypocrisy and cant, too little blogging time...

angelneptunestar said...

You are always so supportive, I am sure Boris appreciates it.

The Troll said...

What's wrong Angela? It's not like you to get sarcastic.

pastyface said...

Metropolitan Police Authority would be looking for ‘big ticket’ savings in 2010/11 and 2011/12.

Where does that leave the Olympics?

angelneptunestar said...

I was being serious.

The Troll said...

I believe that will be funded/costed separately. According to the pre-budget report:

"The Mayor has stipulated that there will be no addition to the council tax precept for Olympic
security costs. However, as yet there is no costed plan for Olympic security and discussions are
taking place with the Government as to what resources will be required and how they will be
funded, as well as the implications for the MPS’s other policing work in the run-up to and
during the Games. The current assumption is that Olympic security will be cost neutral in terms
of the MPA budget."

There will probably be 'leakage' between the different budgets though.

angelneptunestar said...

Seriously, you are all a bit like moaners, nothing ever makes you happy and he is trying really hard.

You must admit that Boris has very serious intentions to do an excellent job and I for one am delighted with some of the progress he has made recently.

The Troll said...

"he is trying really hard"

What does he want, a gold star?

angelneptunestar said...

It's a start, but he'd probably prefer a candygram and a stripper. (THIS IS A JOKE!)

Tom said...


Quite. He'd like two strippers, paid for by the Government.

I've been saying for a while we need to watch for Boris moving things from budgets derived from the precept to budgets derived from general taxation. For some reason the latter (TfL for instance) don't count as real money.

pastyface said...


do you sprinkle lithium on your ice cream?

angelneptunestar said...

Oh no he wouldn't and that is out of order. He won't even use a government car, preferring his bike, and he is not the type to demand loads of stuff for himself and his friends AT ALL.

ps. I won't begin to talk about how Ken was in these areas.

pps. I think he did use public transport though.

angelneptunestar said...

pastyface, why are you so surprised that someone is happy with Boris as Mayor? Everyone I talk to is happy with Boris as Mayor.

prj45 said...

angelneptunestar: "Everyone I talk to is happy with Boris as Mayor."

Because they only read right wing newpapers and andrew gilligan columns?

angelneptunestar said...

No. There are a lot of left wingers round here and they were moaning and groaning prophesying doom and gloom when Boris beat Ken. There are also a lot of right wingers, who didn't think he could do the job, because they had only seen him on HIGNFY. Oh he is just a jackass, he isn't serious..... was the general opinion, THEY DON'T SAY THAT NOW!

They all admit he is serious and he is extremely clever and they admit, ok, not that they were totally wrong, because some of them are still praying he will drop a brick, but they admit they misread him massively. I didn't because I had read all his books and discovered the genius within.

The Troll said...

He should try letting some of that genius out once in a while.

Helen said...

I was on the Tube one evening last week and three businessmen were discussing the Millennium Dome and the Olympic site - by what they were saying their companies were involved in both projects. They all commented on how Boris's scruffiness and ignorance of Chinese etiquette were a global embarrassment for the UK.

Politicalanimal said...

"Oh no he wouldn't and that is out of order. He won't even use a government car, preferring his bike, and he is not the type to demand loads of stuff for himself and his friends AT ALL.

ps. I won't begin to talk about how Ken was in these areas."

Would you like to qualify that last point at all, or are you just engaging in some Gilligan-style 'If I make a broad, sweeping, evidence-less sentence then hopefully everyone will believe it' mudslinging? You might, for example, be interested to know is the reason Boris doesn't have a government car is because Ken turned down the one that was supposed to go with the job in 2000, so there now is no car allocated or funded for the Mayor. Oh dear, a fact, rather than a smear. How will you cope?

Helen said...

politicalanimal is correct, Ken also abolished the official car when he became Leader of the GLC.

Tom said...

Ken also famously doesn't drive at all and has been a prominent enthusiast for public transport for decades, while Boris was motoring correspondent of GQ and wrote a book about how great cars were. Not sure I see the point here. Busted again, I reckon.

angelneptunestar said...

Tom, I thought it was me you all continually blamed for not reading things properly. Above, I immediately pointed out that Ken used public transport, therefore, not a car.

Go to the bottom of the class.(and do homework).