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 today.
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 hereBack to News Archive