PCSO cash shake-up

Wyre Council leader Coun Peter Gibson (below) said it was not the authority's place to pay for PCSOs in the borough.

Wyre Council leader Coun Peter Gibson (below) said it was not the authority's place to pay for PCSOs in the borough.

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FUNDING for police community support officers on the streets of Wyre is set to be axed.

Wyre Council plans to cut cash for 11 PCSOs in the borough from the end of next month.

Coun Peter Gibson, leader of Wyre Borough Council

Coun Peter Gibson, leader of Wyre Borough Council

It means Wyre would be left with just 13 PCSOs funded by the police.

Council leader Coun Peter Gibson said while he knows residents value officers on the streets, he does not believe the council should have to pay for them.

Coun Gibson said: “The agreement to part-fund 11 PCSOs ceases on March 31.

“There is nothing in the budget for further years of funding.

“We’ve done a consultation and the overwhelming view was people value PCSOs but they thought the police should pay for them.

“If police want PCSOs they should be paid by them.”

In the past, the council has paid around £121,000 a year to part-fund the 11 PCSO posts – with a total of more than £1m paid towards the officers since 2006.

Coun Gibson also complained in Fylde – where the council offers no part-funding – there are 18 fully-funded PCSOs despite it having a smaller population than Wyre.

This is the first year the new Police and Crime Commissioner has been in charge of the budget, 
replacing the Police Authority.

And Commissioner Clive Grunshaw said the recommendation to stop part-funding was “disappointing”.

He added: “I do appeal to the Wyre Council cabinet not to agree to this recommendation, which would see the loss of a number of PCSOs from the area.

“I do sympathise with the Council’s financial situation but, I don’t believe turning down funding from the constabulary for these additional posts is the right route to take.

“I have attempted to ease this situation by committing to match-fund additional PCSOs for another year.”

As part of the plans – to be debated at Wyre’s cabinet meeting on February 20 – a council vehicle used by PCSOs would be added to the council fleet.

Discussions are also ongoing about the civic centre bungalow having to be leased by the police, at an approximate cost of £5,000, instead of being given free of charge.

It is not yet known if the PCSOs would be redeployed to a different area if the plans go ahead.

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