There is currently a lot of speculation around police funding and the impact this will have on Cornwall. Like all government departments, the Home Office, which is responsible for allocating police grants, is having to make significant savings over the next five years.
No one knows yet how much each department will be asked to save, but we all know we are in a situation where it is more likely that budgets will go down rather than up. The huge debts piled up by Gordon Brown have left a painful legacy and we are only half way through clearing up the mess.
The immediate task is to ensure that Devon and Cornwall gets a fair allocation of the national funding pot and I have been making the case for improvements to the new funding formula within Government. However, there will still be savings to be made and that means we need to think differently about the way we organise our services.
There has been a lot of discussion recently about the possibility that the police station in Redruth might close. At the same time we have seen a brand new "Tri-Service" station open in Hayle. There, one single, modern building is the joint location for the Fire Brigade, the Police and the Ambulance Service. It is a great example of our public services working together to save money on overheads like old buildings so that the front line can be prioritised.
How we get our public services working more closely together is likely to be one of the key issues debated next May when we have the second elections for the post of Police and Crime Commissioner. Although some people were sceptical about these new elections three years ago, the truth is Tony Hogg, our current PCC, has been visible and brought some much needed accountability.