Tim Farron MP this morning launched his 'Protect our Police' campaign in Kendal, to fight for a fair funding deal for Cumbria Police.
Tim and a group of local Liberal Democrat councillors braved the rain to speak to the public about the funding cuts that Cumbria Police faces, and collect signatures urging the government to protect this essential local service. Tim hopes to add to the momentum already generated by a petition backed by Cumbria Police, to put pressure on the government to change course.
Although the government announced earlier this week that it will delay changes to the police funding formula, Tim has warned that the fight to ensure proper funding for Cumbria Police is not over yet.
Cumbria Police's funding faces two threats. Firstly, regardless of the government's decision to delay the funding formula changes, Cumbria Police are anticipating that at least £11 million of cuts to the force are likely to be announced in the government's Comprehensive Spending Review at the end of November.
Secondly, the changes to the funding formula have only been delayed by the government, rather than scrapped completely. Policing Minister Mike Penning told the House of Commons that "The data does not change the principles of the funding formula". Tim is therefore extremely concerned that the government will simply try to reintroduce the same changes, which would have seen Cumbria Police lose around £15 million.
The purpose of the campaign is to put pressure on the government to ensure that Cumbria Police is properly funded, and that any future funding formula does not inherently disadvantage forces such as Cumbria Police which cover rural areas.
Tim said: "The government's proposed cuts to Cumbria Police are not only unfair, they are short-sighted. They would lead to the end of proper community policing, and would make Cumbria a less safe place to live.
I want the government to fund Cumbria Police properly so that it can continue to keep Cumbria safe.
The government must reconsider their proposed funding formula changes, so that the extra costs involved in policing large rural areas are taken into account."
To join Tim's campaign and sign the petition to Protect Our Police, go to Tim's website: www.timfarron.co.uk/protect-our-police
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