“NOT easy to police” Slough is to have its funding to tackle anti-social behaviour and crime cut by nearly half over the next three years.

Thames Valley Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) Matthew Barber faced criticisms when he announced new Community Safety Fund (CSF) allocations from Slough and Reading who will see their respective slice significantly decline.

Slough will get 40 per cent less funding by 2024, whereas Reading will lose 53 per cent of its part as the money will gradually reduce over the next three years.

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However, Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, and Milton Keynes will see an increase in their CSF.

To compare, Bucks will be receiving over £100,000 more over the next three years, whereas Slough’s funding will be cut by more than £134,500 over the same period.

The new allocation of the funding is calculated based on population, recorded crime and non-crime incidents.

Slough Observer: CSF breakdown for each authorityCSF breakdown for each authority
Speaking at the Thames Valley Police and Crime Panel, Cllr Balvinder S. Bains (Lab: Upton), cabinet member for regulation and public protection, said: “I am fully sympathising that, yes, you need to make certain cuts, but Slough is not easy to police and same with Reading.

“We have different issues because we have very multicultural towns compared with other boroughs. So, you must be keeping that mind that if we need more funding we have to have then you have to look at it again.”

Slough Observer: Cllr Balvinder Bains speaking at the meetingCllr Balvinder Bains speaking at the meeting

But Mr Barber said the three-year funding gives ‘certainty’ to allow for more long-term projects and will review the formula in two years’ time where Slough and Reading can put a case forward for more allocations.

The PCC also doesn’t expect a ‘negative’ impact on Slough and Reading as they will continue to get “significant financial help” and “in-kind support”, while there will be other opportunities for these areas to get funding, such as from the Home Office.

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However, Reading’s lead councillor for neighbourhoods and communities, Adele Barnett-Ward (Lab: Caversham), accused the Conservative PCC of favouring local authorities under Tory control, suggesting the funding is “engineered towards the PCC’s vote base”.

This is because the big winners were the Conservative-run Buckinghamshire while the Royal Borough of Windsor & Maidenhead also walked away with a small increase to their CSF.


Credit: Reading Borough Council

Credit: Reading Borough Council


Mr Barber “took offence” at the suggestion and rejected the accusation, saying the “two biggest winners” are the Labour-run Milton Keynes and Oxfordshire councils.

He also felt Slough and Reading wouldn’t lose out and have instead “benefited hugely as authorities since this funding was put in place” by about £1-£2 million.

The big however to this is the CSF is that it’s not 100 per cent guaranteed but Mr Barber said he is “confident we will be able to fund this for three years”.

The Thames Valley Police and Crime Panel was held on Friday, September 10.