More Welcome News: Extra Funding for Police

Michael has welcomed the extra funding for Police announced this week by the Government.

The Police Grant for 2018/19 will release around £450 million extra for policing next year, creating a better a balance between funding raised locally and nationally.

As Kent Police expands its recruitment programme, the new funding will enable the Chief Constable to enlist up to an additional 200 Police Officers next year, thereby boosting rural and road, local community and cyber-crime policing.

Since May 2016 Kent Police has recruited 80 extra Police Officers and protected PCSO numbers at 300, when other police forces have seen reductions.  Sir Michael inspected some of the latest police recruits at a passing out parade last October.

The announcement comes weeks after the Sevenoaks MP met the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner, Matthew Scott, to review his funding proposals and press for the roll out of a more effective speed prevention system in villages such as Otford and Brasted.

Reacting to the announcement, Michael said: “While crime rates are falling, criminality is becoming increasingly complex.  So it’s right that our police in Kent get the funding they need to continue to protect us.”

Local MP Joins Kent Campaign for New Medical School

Michael has signed a joint letter by 16 MPs across Kent to support the bid from Canterbury Christ Church University and the University of Kent to establish a medical school in the Kent and Medway area.

As Christmas approaches, local health services are preparing for the challenges the winter period brings.  Having discussed these challenges with many NHS and health organisations, Michael is aware that one of the main reasons local providers struggle is because they cannot recruit enough doctors.

Kent is one of the largest areas in the UK without a medical school.  The letter therefore raises awareness of issues surrounding recruitment in the health sector.  It also outlines the benefits a medical school would bring to the region, such as improving local people’s access to high quality healthcare.

The group of MPs add that a local medical school will attract newly qualified and senior doctors, thereby improving health outcomes for patients in Kent:

‘We face serious health inequalities across Kent & Medway, with life expectancy for males up to eight years lower in the most deprived areas […] we firmly believe that a medical school would be transformative for our local health services.’