PCC welcomes Conservative Conference to Birmingham - but doesn’t think the people of the West Midlands should pick up the bill
The people of the West Midlands should not have to foot
a £460,000 bill for the Conservative Party Conference in
Birmingham, Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said
The conference will take place from October 2-5 at the ICC - and
while Mr Jamieson welcomes the event to the city, he feels the
people of the West Midlands should not have to pay for it
considering the huge budget cuts facing West Midlands Police.
The policing of the conference will cost around £2.1 million,
paid for by the government, but there is still a £460,000 bill for
the region's public purse. And in 2014, this bill rose to more than
half a million pounds.
West Midlands Police and Crime Commissioner David Jamieson said:
"I welcome political parties bringing their conferences to the West
Midlands as they provide an important boost to the economy. I want
to see more conferences not fewer. And the safety of people
attending conferences will always be of the highest priority.
"Policing across the region will continue as normal despite
extra resources being allocated to the conference.
"The policing taking place during the conference will be paid
for but one crucial element will not.
"For big events like the Conservative Party Conference, a
dedicated planning team of 24 officers and staff is required. The
team from West Midlands Police began work for this year's
conference last autumn and is costing approximately £460,000.
That's £460,000 the Home Office will not pay for.
"Significantly, in 2014 when Birmingham last hosted the
conference, the costs of this planning team reached £520,000. With
Birmingham set to host the Conservative Party Conference again in
2018 and 2020, the next four years could cost the force £1.5m if
this issue is not resolved.
"West Midlands Police has suffered the largest budget cuts of
any force in the country - £130million since 2010 and, despite
promises to the contrary, West Midlands Police is still receiving
cuts of £2.5m a year."
The Police and Crime Commissioner has written to Home Secretary,
Amber Rudd MP about the issue. You can read the letter