Julie Cooper column: Tory police cuts have consequences and why red carepet should not be rolled out for Donald Trump

US President Donald Trump has met the Queen on his state visit to the UK
US President Donald Trump has met the Queen on his state visit to the UK
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This Government has consistently claimed that law and order and the safety of UK citizens is a top priority for them however their actions as is the case with so many issues do not match the rhetoric.

Despite the claims of the Conservative Government and the Coalition before them, since 2010 Lancashire Constabulary has been forced to make budget savings of £84m.

This has meant the loss of 800 uniformed police officers and 350 civilian support staff. During this time residents across the county have been charged extra Council Tax (via the police precept) for a reduced service.

Even with the increases in Council Tax the force will have to cut an extra £18m. from their budget in the next three years. This is a slap in the face for local people and a gross dereliction of duty on behalf of the Government.

The Government’s refusal to adequately fund Lancashire’s police force is having a serious impact and it really is no wonder that crime such as home burglaries are on the increase.

I have this week called on the Minister for Policing to take action ahead of the Police Spending Review and I assure you that I will not let this matter rest until we have adequate sustainable funding for Burnley and Padiham. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the men and women police officers who work so hard in very challenging times. Your efforts are much appreciated!

Still on the subject of security I have to say that I am also really disgusted that Lancashire officers will again be drafted into London to support the Metropolitan police during the visit of Donald Trump.

At a time when the Government’s continued austerity agenda is starving all our public services of vital funds it is an outrage that £18m. is being spent on Donald Trump’s State Visit. Just to stress, this is coincidentally the same amount that Lancashire Constabulary’s must save in the latest round of budget cuts!

Of course I understand that it is important that the US President is allowed to visit the UK but the question I have is: Should he be accorded the honour of a full State Visit?

This is the guy who is famous for his racism and disrespect of women. This is the man who thinks it is okay to insult members of the British Royal family. Should we really be rolling out the red carpet for him? I think, not.

Meanwhile this week in Burnley, the Borough Council appointed a Coalition Executive to run the town; an Executive team, dominated by Conservatives and Liberal Democrats. This is reminiscent of the Tory/Lib Dem Coalition Government established in 2010.

During the five years that they ran this country they took millions of pounds out of Burnley and Padiham, starved our public services and caused misery to thousands in our town. I sincerely hope that this Burnley Coalition will use their power and their voice to join with me in demanding the restoration of funding for the benefit of all in Burnley and Padiham.

I also hope that everyone in our Muslim communities have enjoyed celebrating Eid this week with their families and friends. In these times of government cuts the importance of giving to those less fortunate, emphasised each year through Ramadan, cannot be underestimated. A reminder of the shared values that make Burnley and Padiham’s communities strong.

My next MP’s surgery will be on 8th June from 10am – noon at my office at 8 Keirby Walk in Burnley.

No appointments are necessary as people will be seen on a first come first served basis. Alternatively you can email me on julie.cooper.mp@parliament.uk or phone my constituency office on 01282 425744.