Labour propose cutting Council's community safety budget by nearly half a million pounds
At Monday night's Cabinet meeting, the Leader of the Labour Group Tony Newman said that if Labour win the local elections they will scrap the Council's Neighbourhood Enforcement Officers and invest £500,000 of the savings in funding additional police officers.
Now that we have a guarantee that any additional police officers the Council funds won't be redeployed elsewhere in London, I have no argument with shifting spending from funding uniformed Council officers to full police officers - that is exactly what I proposed doing several months ago - but the budget for the NEOs is £994,000: what do Labour propose doing with the remaining £494,000?
I asked Cllr Newman on the night but didn't get an answer. I have emailed him since and he refuses to rule out cutting the Community Safety budget by this amount so I think we can assume that is exactly what he intends to do.
Of course, this is just part of a wider problem, which is that he refuses to reply a written statement of his budget proposals so that there is clarity about what he is proposing (he says one thing in the Council chamber and something else in the press) and we can test whether his sums add up. I will leave you to decide why he doesn't want to give me, the press or you the chance to do that detailed analysis.