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Agenda item

Medium Term Financial Plan 2016/17 to 2020/21 - Report of PCVC Chief Finance Officer


The Panel considered a report of the PCVC Chief Finance Officer which presented the Medium Term Financial Plan 2016/17 to 2020/21 for Durham PCVC and Constabulary (for copy see file of Minutes).


Mr Dodwell sought further information on the estimated 7.4% increase for Police Staff Pension contributions for 2017/18 as outlined at the financial planning assumptions on page 48.  The Chief of Finance replied that this was the pension scheme for police staff which was subject to triennial reviews.


Councillor Boyes asked why police officer pay and overtime shown on page 50 showed a projected reduction in 2018/19 and 2019/20 and also asked how the pay scales for Police Officers and PCSO’s in County Durham compared with other forces.


The Chief Finance Officer replied that the reduction of police officer pay referred to was due to officers, who were on the top of their pay scale retiring and new officers, who started on the bottom of the pay scale being recruited.  There was an assumption of eight Bank Holidays each year, but this varied depending upon the timing of the Easter Bank Holidays, and this was the reason for the variance in the overtime figure.  Police officer pay was set as a national pay scale.  The salary of PCSOs in County Durham and Darlington was below the national average, less than Northumbria and the same as Cleveland.


Councillor Scott referred to the deployment of Durham officers to emergency operations in other parts of the country and asked what impact this had on the force’s budget.  The Chief Finance Officer replied that Durham officers had recently been deployed to Manchester following the recent terrorist attack and that forces had agreed numbers for officers in such situations.  Although the officers are not backfilled, the force did get reimbursed for the costs of such deployment.


Councillor Scott informed the meeting that Durham was a very efficient and high performing force and she considered it was unfair that it was affected by Government cuts.  Durham was an example to forces in the rest of the country and Councillor Scott informed the Panel that she would support the lobbying of Government.


Councillor Robinson referred to the proposed new funding formula and asked what the current position was.  The Chief of Staff informed the Panel that a Home Office review had commenced in 2015 but errors were found in the proposals and the review was restarted.  Proposals on the new funding formula had been expected in the spring of 2017 but the General Election had delayed this.  Preparation work had been carried out to lobby if necessary and any proposed formula would be subject to a consultation period.


The PCVC informed the Panel that he appreciated the support shown.  The flat cash settlement did not include pay rise pressures and pension increases and there was a need to trim and save every year to achieve a standstill position.  The PCVC had concern that ongoing cuts brought increased pressures on the workforce and absence through stress was at its highest level ever in policing.



That the Medium Term Financial Plan 2016/17 to 2020/21 be noted.

Supporting documents:


Democratic Services
Durham County Council
County Hall
County Durham
03000 269 714