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Gordon presses Prime Minister on Police cuts to Lancashire Constabulary

Gordon has used Prime Minister’s Questions to press David Cameron on the unfair police cuts to Lancashire Constabulary – a position that has cross-party backingPMQs.jpg.

He told the House that Blackpool was being hit by a “double whammy”, firstly from the cuts in the Government’s forthcoming spending review and then from the Home Office’s funding formula, which he said failed to take into account the town’s particular circumstances.

Speaking in the chamber, Gordon said: "Does the Prime Minister realise that my constituents in Blackpool face a double whammy on police cuts from his spending review and from the Home Office formula, which chops 14%, or £25 million, off Lancashire’s police?"

He warned the Prime Minister, "How many blue lights does he need before we hit meltdown?"

Gordon used his question to make reference to the cross-party consensus from Lancashire MPs, the County’s Police and Crime Commissioner and local neighbourhood watch groups that the cuts to policing were going too far.

As it stands Lancashire Constabulary is set to lose £25 million from their budget and the county’s Chief Constable has warned that further cuts to the police budget could leave the force no longer "viable" by 2020.

Speaking after his challenge to David Cameron over the police cuts, Gordon added: "I’m afraid our Prime Minister just doesn't get it - he ignored the fact of the pile up of concern and evidence from all sides of the community and politics across Lancashire that this funding formula is intrinsically flawed. He and his Ministers are giving Lancashire Police and residents in Blackpool a raw deal.

"Instead he served up some out of focus statistics and sounded completely complacent about the collapse of neighbourhood policing that the Chief Constable has said will occur if this formula isn’t amended and we get the 25 per cent plus cuts from the Home Office in the Spending Review on November 25 that everyone fears.

"It won’t just be PCSOs, coverage of anti-social behaviour, all the things that disrupt and upset people in Blackpool in their day to day life that will go if the Prime Minister doesn’t change tack.

 "It will be the early warnings that neighbourhood policing provides about big criminal gangs coming into Lancashire and Blackpool to peddle drugs ,illegal and often dangerous alcohol and counterfeit goods , and crucially information on potential threats and terrorism in the community. That s why we all need to keep hammering this hard until the Government amends this funding formula."

Gordon’s question came a week after he and other local MPs met with Mike Penning MP, the Government’s Minister of State for Policing, where they argued for a fairer funding deal for Lancashire Constabulary.

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