The Metropolitan Police Authority is still in session and Deputy Mayor Kit Malthouse AM DCiC* and Putative Deputy MOPC** (pronounced “Mopsy”) remains in the Chair.
Yesterday, the London Assembly failed to muster the necessary two-thirds majority to amend the Mayor’s Budget for 2011/12, so the Budget has de facto been approved.
The non-Conservative Assembly members, of course, sought to distance themselves from the implications of the budget and a (non-binding) motion was carried as follows:
“This Assembly notes the success of Neighbourhood Policing and regrets the Mayor’s proposal to remove 100 Sergeants from the Safer Neighbourhood Teams over the coming year. We do not believe a case for these reductions has been made given that the review of the SNTs is still underway, We ask the Mayor to reverse this decision.”
This contrasted with the upbeat tone of the Mayor’s press release:
“Increasing police on the streets and freezing the precept for a record third year running are the key elements to the Mayor of London Boris Johnson’s third budget, which has been approved unamended by the London Assembly. …
Almost three quarters of the £935 million raised by the precept will go to the Metropolitan Police Service to help build on the success of the lowest murder rate since 1978, taking more than 11,000 knives off the streets, and cutting robbery on public transport by 46.5 per cent in the last three years. An additional £42 million to lift the recruitment freeze and to put an extra 413 police officers on the transport network, is also included in the budget.”
In practice, the Mayor’s budget has set the funding envelope for the MPA and the Metropolitan Police, but how the money is to be deployed has yet to be finally agreed by the MPA.
The funding allocation is now therefore a zero-sum game: if one area of efficiencies/cuts is removed from the budget alternative savings/cuts will have to be found to compensate.
This did not, however, stop a number of members reprising the points made at yesterday’s Assembly meeting.
*Dog Catcher in Chief
**Mayor’s Office of Policing and Crime