New police chief asks for no more budget cuts

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WIGAN’S newly elected Police Commissioner has met with his Police and Crime panel for the first time and called on the government to stop further cuts to the policing budget.

Tony Lloyd, who became Greater Manchester’s first PCC last month, discussed his first police and crime plan, which will be published early next year, at the meeting as well as the proposed cuts to the policing budget.

The panel, which scrutinises and holds the commissioner to account, is made up of the nine local authority leaders, including Wigan Council leader Lord Peter Smith, and the Salford elected mayor, plus two independent members.

At the meeting, Commissioner Lloyd, said: “I’m delighted to be here and very much welcome the opportunity to talk to you all as it’s important that we work together to keep crime falling across Greater Manchester.”

The ten council leaders were also urged to come together to fight against child sex exploitation.

Mr Lloyd, added: “Child sex exploitation is an issue that challenges us all which is why I invite all ten councils to sit down with me so we can share best practice in tackling this issue.”

The commissioner has wasted no time in calling on the government to commit itself to no further cuts to policing budgets.

Following a meeting with Home Secretary Theresa May, the former Manchester Central MP, said: “Whilst in parliament, I asked the Prime Minister if he would guarantee that there would be no further cuts to policing budgets.

“He failed to answer my question, so today along with other fellow commissioners, the Home Secretary was asked if she would give that guarantee.

“It was clear to me before the election that the safety of communities across Greater Manchester was under threat with the reckless 20 per cent government cuts we have suffered.

“The prospect of further disproportionate cuts to Greater Manchester is worrying and I pledged at the election to oppose these cuts. The Home Secretary must listen to the 2.5 million people I represent who want to see our police cutting crime, not the government cutting our police.” Tony Lloyd stepped down from his House of Commons role to stand in the PCC elections.

He won the ballot with 51.2 per cent of first preference votes with only 13.6 per cent of Greater Manchester residents registering a vote.

The PCCs, elected across the 41 policing areas in the country, are responsible for setting priorities for the police service and hiring and firing its chief constable.

Former Wigan mayor and Conservative representative Michael Winstanley finished second in the poll - receiving 42,478 votes.

In his victory speech, Mr Lloyd said the low turnout had been “an affront to the proper function of our democracy”.