Frontline services will be the last to go

IN spite of a two per cent budget cut this year, Devon and Cornwall Police are managing to keep officers on the front line.

However, millions of pounds have to be shaved off next year’s budget and a meeting, held in Honiton, heard frontline jobs are not guaranteed.

But residents were assured: “front line staff will be the last thing to go.”

Lynda Price, an independent member of the authority, chaired last Wednesday’s meeting and said: “Matters of interest include the budget and money.

“Two per cent of our budget has been cut this year, but we are still able to keep our officers on the front line.

“I can’t tell you how much longer we can keep that up.”

The authority was due to hold an emergency meeting, to discuss financial issues.

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However, Mrs Price a three-year value for money strategy had been successful and was ahead of its targets.

A magistrate of 19 years, Mrs Price went on to explain that the criminal justice system could see budgets cut by as much as 25 per cent.

“Courts will close,” she warned.

“As for the police, we will have to have a look and see what we can do. We are being very, very tight with all the money we spend.”

Devon and Cornwall Police is part of the Regional Collaborative Group of police forces. It is undertaking joint training and buying, resulting in cost savings.

New PCSO uniforms were bulk ordered for five forces, meaning they all saved cash.

Lynda Price is the chairman of governors at Honiton Community College, where she has been a governor for almost two decades.