Connect with us
Advertisement
Advertisement

Politics

Devolution of policing ‘could protect force budgets’

Published

on

Jonathan Edwards MP: Remove policing from ‘simplistic one-size-fits-all system’

Jonathan Edwards MP: Remove policing from ‘simplistic one-size-fits-all system’

THE POLICING budget for Dyfed-Powys could benefit to the tune of £13.5m if policing was devolved, according to a Plaid Cymru MP.

The claim was made by Jonathan Edwards MP, who has raised concern ahead of the Home Office’s new policing budget formula consultation.

A policing grant consultation, launched by the then Home Secretary Theresa May, was abandoned earlier this year after Policing Minister Mike Penning admitted there had been a ‘statistical error’ on which several Police and Crime Commissioners threatened legal action.

Mr Edwards said that last year’s formula would have resulted in a £32 million cut to Welsh forces – £7.9m of which would have been cut from Dyfed-Powys constabulary – a staggering 16% of the force budget.

New policing minister Brandon Lewis MP has recently announced a new review of the Police Core Grant Distribution Formula, which prompted Dyfed-Powys Police and Crime Commissioner, Dafydd Llywelyn to host a summit for all elected members in the force area.

Mr Llyweyln is set to meet directly with the minister next month, but is urging politicians from all parties to support a fair funding formula that adequately reflects challenges faced by the force.

Figures provided to Jonathan Edwards show a formula which better reflects population statistics would result in an additional £25 million for Welsh forces – £13.5 million in the case of Dyfed-Powys – a figure the Plaid MP says strengthens the case for devolving policing.

Mr Edwards said: “The 43 police forces of Wales and England often have different needs and challenges. Policing is a field for which sophistication and complexity is needed in its funding formula to properly account for the relative needs of each force.

“The review last year sought to place greater emphasis on socio-economic data and more general crime figures. Such a formula doesn’t properly consider the workload differences of each constabulary and would have resulted in a £32 million cut to Welsh forces, with almost £8 million cut from our local force.

“Figures provided to me by Dyfed- Powys Police indicate that funding our forces in line with population would result in an additional £25 million for the four forces in Wales. This is particularly important when we consider that policing is devolved to Scotland and Northern Ireland. for whom the new formula would not apply.

“If policing was devolved to Wales, a position supported by all Police and Crime Commissioners, the overall Barnett formula for funding public services would indeed be based on our population. It is only be retaining policing control in Westminster that Welsh forces face these significant cuts.”

“Dyfed-Powys Police has already dealt with a £13 million cut from the Tory Home Office. One of the results of those cuts was the loss of our dedicated police helicopter. If further cuts come as a result of an inappropriate funding formula, what services will have to go next? With a formula taking proper account of population, Dyfed-Powys would actually receive an additional £13 million.

“Plaid Cymru will be actively working to lobby the policing minister to implement a formula that does not disadvantage the four Welsh forces, but the case for the devolution of policing to the National Assembly grows by the day and has never been stronger.

“It seems the best way to protect our policing system is to remove it from the simplistic one-size-fits-all approach at Westminster and operate a system that is developed in Wales and works for Wales.”

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

News

Key questions ‘remain unanswered’ as Welsh Government introduces Environment Bill

Published

on

THE CHARTERED Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) has welcomed the introduction of The Environment (Air Quality and Soundscapes) (Wales) Bill but say that key questions remain unanswered regarding vital elements of how the Bill is to be implemented.

On Monday, the Minister for Climate Change, Julie James MS, tabled the Bill in the Senedd with the Bill being debated yesterday.

CIEH were an important stakeholder in helping shape and influence the Bill via its partnership with Healthy Air Cymru, and sat on regular Cross-Party Group meetings on the Clean Air Bill Cymru, as it was previously known. CIEH had already raised concerns about various sources of emissions of PM2.5, the possibility of introducing regulations on domestic wood burners in urban environments, as well as highlighting the role noise has to play in the wider public health debate around air quality.

It is promising that the Welsh Government have taken steps to reflect CIEH’s input with the last-minute decision to broaden the Bill by renaming it to include ‘soundscapes’ within its focus. CIEH has welcomed the commitment from the Welsh Government to publish a soundscape strategy and is urging the Welsh Government to continue its engagement with CIEH and environmental health professionals across the nation.

However, key questions remain as to how the Bill will operate in practice.

For example, CIEH are asking why the Welsh Government have missed a golden opportunity to set national targets for PM2.5 and nitrogen dioxide in line with the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) guidelines.

Furthermore, CIEH have sought clarification on intentions to bring national and local authority air quality monitoring regimes together, as the current system of air quality review is disjointed and not fit for purpose.

Finally, the Bill says nothing on introducing regulations on domestic wood burners in urban areas where there are on-grid alternative heat sources. CIEH has asked why the Welsh Government have not considered introducing regulations that would tackle one of the primary sources of PM2.5 emissions which are so deleterious to public health.

Ross Matthewman, Head of Policy and Campaigns at CIEH, said: “The Welsh Government have missed a golden opportunity to introduce ambitious, robust environmental protection targets with this Bill.

There was an opportunity to lay down a marker by introducing robust targets for both PM2.5 and NO2 in line with WHO guidelines, yet what has emerged has been rather underwhelming.

However, we welcome the decision by the Welsh Government to publish a soundscape strategy. Such a move acknowledges the role that soundscapes play in the wider air quality discussion, and we hope the Welsh Government engages with CIEH and our members with regards to producing this strategy when the time comes.”

Continue Reading

News

Hundleton: Less houses means £9k community payment reduction

Published

on

A CALL to reduce the amount of community payments connected to the development of a Pembrokeshire housing estate by more than £9,000 was given the thumbs-up by county planners.

The request to reduce payments made in connection with a Section 106 community payments agreement was made after the developer built less homes than previously planned.

The Section 106 agreement required financial contributions to secondary education provision, public open space, transportation and affordable housing, in relation to the building of 32 dwellings at the Bowett Close site in Hundleton.

Members of the March meeting of the county council’s planning committee heard 29 homes had been built by applicants WH & NL Developments, with a recommendation the commuted sum – relating to an initial 2014 planning application and a later 2021 application for a lower number of homes – be reduced to reflect the lower number.

The 2021 application had sought to regularise changes to the earlier scheme, reducing the number of properties on-site.

A report for planners said the applicant sought to reduce financial contributions proportionately, seeking an affordable housing contribution drop of £7,631.25 to £73,768.75, a drop in the highways contribution of £562.50 to £5,437.50; a secondary education contribution reduction of £1,054.17 to £10,190.31 and a public open space contribution reduction of £685.68 to £6,628.24, which would lead to a total reduction of £9,933.60.

The report said the reductions in all but the highways aspect could be supported.

“With regard to the highways contribution of £6,000, this figure was required in connection with the impact the housing development would have on local highways infrastructure.

“A reduction in the number of dwellings would not significantly reduce the impact of the development on local highways infrastructure as a development of 29 dwellings still requires a basic level of infrastructure such as footway links.”

Members of the committee supported the recommendation to lower the contribution, with the total reduction amounting to £9,371.10.

Continue Reading

News

No affordable housing contribution for holiday lets at Fishguard restaurant

Published

on

A NEW restaurant on the site of a disused former garage site in Fishguard’s Lower Town will avoid paying a £15,000 affordable housing contribution if its three associated apartments stay as holiday lets.

The application in the town’s conservation area, submitted by Orwell Pine Co Ltd, for the restaurant/café and three apartments was recommended for conditional approval, subject to the completion of a Section 106 legal agreement, and conditions including the implementation of flood mitigation measures.

A report for members of Pembrokeshire County Council’s March 14 planning committee said: “The application submission proposes residential apartments for the open market.

“The applicant has advised that this is in order to obtain development funding on the wider lending market. However, the intention is for the three apartments to be used as holiday let accommodation.

“Accordingly, the applicant is of the view that a financial contribution towards affordable housing should not be required of the development and requests that it be recognised that the proposal, inclusive of the [business] use, represents a large investment to support local employment, bringing a continued inward investment to the visitor economy, whilst enhancing the conservation area.”

In the absence of an assessment providing evidence that it would be unviable for the development to proceed, policy normally requires a 10 per cent contribution to affordable housing.

This would amount to £15,262.50 for the three properties.

Fishguard & Goodwick Town Council support the application, subject to the prevention of new developments being used at any time as holiday lets.

The report for planners states: “Given the intention is for the units to be occupied as holiday lets it is considered reasonable that a recommendation of approval be subject to a Section 106 agreement, only triggering the required affordable housing contribution should the units be occupied as residential (Use Class C3), there being a permitted development right for properties to move between the C3, C5 and C6 use classes.”

At the March planning meeting, agent Rob Howell said the application offered “an exciting opportunity to bring more to Fishguard and Lower Town,” adding it would bring “year-round employment for local people as well as additional seasonal employment.”

Committee Vice-Chair Cllr Jordan Ryan, who moved the recommendation, said it was a “currently unused site that doesn’t look very nice”.

The application was supported by committee members.

Speaking after the meeting, a spokesman for Pembrokeshire County Council said: “A contribution towards local needs affordable housing will only be required of the development if it is occupied as a sole or main residence.

“If once constructed the apartments are occupied as holiday lets then a contribution is not required.”

“It is permitted to change the use of a residential unit between a sole or main residence (Use Class C3) and a holiday let (Use Class C6) without the need to submit a planning application.

“Following construction of the development, should the apartments first be occupied as holiday lets and then later be used as a sole or main residence this change in use would trigger the requirement to contribute towards affordable housing.”

Continue Reading

News3 hours ago

Dog in difficulty rescued between St Nons and Caerfai Bay by RNLI

ST DAVIDS inshore lifeboat was tasked at 11am on Monday (Feb 27) to a dog in difficulty at the bottom...

News21 hours ago

Mismanagement of public accounts ‘has cost the people of Wales millions’

SIGNIFICANT funds for essential public services have been lost due to shortcomings in the Welsh Government’s accounting, according to a Senedd Committee....

Business1 day ago

Developer Conygar disposes of Haverfordwest 729 home site

A DEVELOPER, involved in a major 700-plus-housing scheme in Haverfordwest, has disposed of its site so it can concentrate on...

News1 day ago

Haverfordwest’s mayor reported to the DVLA by deputy over driving safety fears

HAVERFORDWEST’S mayor, who said he had received anonymous warning letters, was reported to the DVLA by his own deputy mayor...

Business2 days ago

Freeport status ‘will put region at forefront of global green energy revolution’

THE CELTIC FREEPORT will put south west Wales at the forefront of the world’s green energy revolution, the Deputy Leader...

News4 days ago

Lola murder trial: “WTF has he been doing to my baby”

THIS was the question Sinead James, 30, asked officers when shown images of Lola’s injuries during an interview. Transcripts from...

News5 days ago

Huge boost for Pembrokeshire as Celtic Freeport set to create 16,000 jobs

THE CELTIC FREEPORT in Milford Haven and Port Talbot and Anglesey Freeport on Ynys Mon have been chosen as Wales’...

News5 days ago

Lola murder trial: “I didn’t beat her up to that extent”

IN police statements read to Swansea Crown Court today, Wednesday, March 22, murder accused Kyle Bevan stated “I didn’t beat...

News6 days ago

Campaign group CPRW welcome for Project Erebus windfarm

RURAL campaign group CPRW has welcomed the recent consent for Wales’ first floating windfarm, located just over 40km off the...

News6 days ago

Eight arrested as illegal rave is halted near Llandovery

DYFED-POWYS POLICE broke up an illegal rave involving around 120 people in the Halfway Forest, Llandovery, on Sunday.Following a report...

Popular This Week