Concern about police funding gap
A councillor has raised concerns that a funding gap at Police Scotland could affect front-line services in Rutherglen and Cambuslang.
Councillor Robert Brown described a report by Audit Scotland that the force had a looming funding gap of £188 million by 2020/21 as “hugely worrying”.
The report said that Police Scotland continued to suffer from “weak financial leadership and considerable budget pressures,” and criticised its IT programme.
Councillor Brown said: “The centralisation of the police as Police Scotland has been a major mistake. The auditor general has now laid bare the size of the black hole in police funding. No wonder the police are proposing to close police offices all over South Lanarkshire and across Scotland.
“The IT failure is a major botch-up of the kind we have seen with other over-large organisations.
“The funding situation must be sorted out by the Scottish Government very urgently as it is clearly going to hit front-line services in communities across the country.”
The issue was raised at the final First Minister’s questions of the year in the Scottish Parliament.
Nicola Sturgeon said: “The Scottish Government is working with the Police Authority and Police Scotland to ensure the financial sustainability of policing in the years ahead.
“That is why we have included in the draft budget a real-terms increase in protection for the resource budget of the Scottish Police Authority and an increase in the capital budget and we are also continuing the reform budget.
Warning Robert Brown