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Lancashire Police getting reimbursed for fracking presence

fracking police on preston new road

Published by Laura Pratt at 4:50pm 1st February 2019

The Government has agreed to reimburse Lancashire Police £4.3m for their presence at the fracking site on Preston New Road.

A letter's been sent from the Police and Fire Minister Nick Hurd.

It's after refusals in the past for them to cover more than £1.4m of the £11.5m bill (to the end of March 2019).

That was the minimum the government could offer under Home Office rules.

Lancashire Police and Crime Commissioner Clive Grunshaw slammed that news - saying it was a "bitter blow for Lancashire".

Yesterday, in a letter signed by Nick Hurd, the Government said that after careful consideration, they have decided to waive the usual 1% rule on Special Grant due to the ongoing nature of the operation and the significant financial impact the operation is having on the force.

Clive Grunshaw said:

“This is a real victory for the people of Lancashire.

"Whilst the grant doesn’t cover the full costs of the operation, it is a huge contribution and will make a significant difference, recovering what we have already spent.   

"I have always maintained that the police budget, from which we've already saved £86m since 2010, should be spent on policing services to keep people safe.

"This is not extra money but will lessen the burden on the force.

“This is a resource demand which is not likely to leave Lancashire any time soon.

"Protests are still ongoing and are expected to escalate as we enter spring and summer and officers on the ground continue to do a very difficult job under intense pressure and scrutiny.

“The decision to frack in our county was borne in Whitehall after the judgement made by Lancashire County Council was overturned.

"The expectation on Lancashire Constabulary to cover the costs of this decision was not a fair deal so I am pleased this has been recognised and additional costs for this operation are being met."

A Special Grant of up to £2.3m will be awarded for 2018/19. This represents 85 per cent of the total additional costs and assumes a 15 per cent contribution from the force.

An additional £2m has also been given towards the 2017/18 costs. This makes the total grant received for the operation £5.8m, out of total additional costs of £6.8m, with a further application considered for 2019/20.

Home Office rules state Police and Crime Commissioners can only claim for additional costs of a police operation – these are any costs where officers are working beyond plain time such as overtime and mutual aid from other forces.

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