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Damping stays in place for police forces

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The police authority funding formula is to be reviewed in two years, Home Office minister Nick Herbert has announced.

Allocations for 2011-12 and 2012-13 have been damped in order to make ensure an “equal share of reductions” across the country, but that levelling out may be removed in the last two years of the spending review period.

Mr Herbert (Con) said the local government resource review due in July 2011 might also have an effect on how local government funding is allocated to police authorities in the latter two years.

LGC reported last week that the settlement was delayed because home secretary Theresa May (Con) and chief secretary to the Treasury Danny Alexander (Lib Dem) could not agree whether damping should be used in the calculation of police funding.

Mr Herbert’s announcement suggests that Mr Alexander won the argument for now, but that Ms May’s preference could ultimately prevail.

In the first two years, after damping has been applied, the cut in funding has been limited to 5.1% in 2011-12 and 6.7% in 2012-13.

Police forces such as the West Midlands, Avon & Somerset and Bedfordshire have long argued that damping should be removed because it can significantly reduce their allocations.

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