Merging police forces ‘a step too far’ – Welwyn Hatfield MP
WELWYN Hatfield MP Grant Shapps has spoken out against a possible merger of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire police forces.
The housing minister tells today’s Welwyn Hatfield Times that a formal merger, which would involve losing one of the two chief constables, would be “a step too far”.
Mr Shapps, who launched a Keep Police Local campaign earlier this year, said: “The idea we need to completely merge the police service, including getting rid of a chief constable, is just wrong.
“What we still need is a chief constable and police authority that is local to Hertfordshire.”
As reported last week on www.whtimes24.co.uk, Hertfordshire Constabulary chief constable Frank Whiteley and his Bedfordshire counterpart Gillian Parker, are recommending to their police authorities that a “full and voluntary merger” be pursued.
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A funding gap of more than �40m over the next four years has to be found, as part of the Government’s savage public sector cuts.
The two police authorities will meet on Friday morning to discuss all available options.
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* For more coverage of the merger threat, see this week’s Welwyn Hatfield Times, out today (Wednesday).