No dancing to the paymaster’s tune

Brandon Lewis
Brandon Lewis
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The recent announcement by the Minister for Policing and the Fire Service Brandon Lewis, framed in ‘good news’ spin, informs the tax-paying public that the Government ‘has awarded £1 million from the Police Transformation Fund to nine police and crime commissioners (PCCs) for their work in developing proposals to take on the additional responsibility for the governance of fire and rescue in their area’.

This spinning of the imposition of more reductions in resources, carried out and marketed under feigned cover of it being an enhancement and an increase, is the same old story that we have had drip-fed to us, each time a public authority is corralled into making cuts in real terms.

In reality, these public essential safety services, especially, policing, have seen enormous losses in funding and resources since 2010, with more to come.

The same old narrative out of Government is the worn-out strategy of them claiming that the initiative is merely about ‘rationalising services’ and an opportunity for the authorities to ‘pool resources’ in order to ‘increase efficiency and effectiveness’ and all being carried forward by Government ‘for the public good’.

This charade fools no one. What the ‘awarded’ money is for, is to have services merged. It is piloted by those who volunteered to dance to the pay master’s tune, to carry out the Government’s bidding, by merging their already greatly underfunded local services, causing more local detriment.

This Government ‘initiative’, being targeted at already under-resourced public authorities does not increase efficiency or effectiveness, it is an excuse for more Government cuts, so they can say ‘you’re one now, you don’t need to have as much money any more’.

Thank goodness that South Yorkshire is not one of the dancers.

Patrick Meleady

by email