"The poor old council tax payer will now have to stump up the cost of the
failed national police mergers which the Government was trying to force and
which included the merger between Staffordshire Police and the West
Midlands" says Michael Fabricant who resolutely opposed Staffordshire being
"swallowed up" into a regional west midlands service. "I will be asking
Home Office ministers a series of questions when Parliament returns in
October to pressure the Government into reimbursing the full costs of the
exercise. It was their damn fool idea in the first place", he adds.
Staffordshire Police informed the Daily Telegraph earlier this month that
they had spent £134,000 planning the now abandoned merger. And while the
Home Office have said they will make a contribution towards the costs of all
police forces, it will not reimburse the total costs which will have to come
out of policing and be funded by the council tax payer. There are also
likely to be hidden costs in excess of the £134,000.
Alan Gordon, the Vice Chairman of the Police Federation, called the merger
"ill conceived" and said "Police Authorities are now having to pay the cost
which could have been directed at front line policing".
The total cost of planning then aborting the proposed mergers is thought to
be in excess of £11.5 million.