Bristol City Council reconsiders funding for PCSOs

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Plans to cut funding for 32 police community support officer (PCSO) posts are to be reconsidered, a Bristol City Council spokesperson said.

Last week, mayor George Ferguson unveiled his budget proposals, which included cutting the council-funded posts to save £540,000.

A cross-party working group, set up after concerns voiced by the community, is to look again at the issue.

The group will make recommendations to the mayor within the next week.

The council has to make savings of £35m, which is about 9% of the council budget.

Financial pressures

Mr Ferguson said 330 council staff jobs must go to help achieve the overall savings.

He added that Bristol's spending on officer posts was "out of kilter" with other English city councils.

"Manchester, Liverpool, Nottingham and Birmingham do not fund any PCSOs and Sheffield only funds 10 of them, he said.

Chair of the cross-party working group, Councillor Gus Hoyt said he had been speaking with Avon and Somerset Police as part of the review.

"There is recognition, of course, of the role PCSOs play in tackling crime and the fear of crime in our communities," he said.

"But at the same time we face tough choices when it comes to making savings in the current climate of increased financial pressures."

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