Con­cern about po­lice fund­ing gap

Rutherglen Reformer - - News -

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

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.