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City Matters 128

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OUTDOOR DINING GUIDE Square Mile restaurants & bars are ready to accept guests again as they transform their al fresco dining spaces for an easing of restrictions Pages 10-13 OPEN-AIR FITNESS CLASSES Gyms are reopening, but there are plenty of outdoor classes in and around the City for those who still aren’t ready to sweat it out indoors Pages 16 & 17 07 Apr - 11 May 2021 The City of London’s independent newspaper with 45,000 READERS Edition 128 City Police force faces £5.6m cuts Report updating budget deficit outlined planned ‘deletion of 37 posts’ to save £2.3m, to be agreed by Home Office Q1 confidence on the rise P6 THE police force which looks after the Square Mile is likely to lose 37 jobs out of 961 officers, to help cut a £5.6million budget deficit, writes Julia Gregory, Local Democracy Reporter. The size of the deficit has more than doubled from the £2.4m predicted in December. However, the force had 840 officers and 518 staff in 2020 when the current policing plan was drawn up. The City of London Police Force is partially funded by the City of London Corporation and is the national lead force for investigating fraud, including the growth in online fraud. It has a net budget of £85m for the next financial year. A report updating the budget deficit outlined the planned “deletion of 37 posts” to save £2.3m which will have to be agreed by the Home Office. This follows a 12% reduction in funding from the City of London Corporation. The job losses are City of London Police is facing cuts in addition to 40 vacant policing posts, saving £2.4m. The force also expects 136 officers will retire over the next five years. Last year the force had to save £5.7m, including trimming £1.6m from pay and meant the loss of 16 jobs. It has also saved £1.1m through the closure of Snow Hill and Wood Street police stations in recent times. The police force’s chief financial officer, Cecile Booth, warned of future pressures, including a £7m cut to the counter terrorism budget, which is the equivalent of 20 posts over a five-year period. Counter terrorism is one of the force’s priorities as the Square Mile includes major financial institutions, including the London Stock Exchange, along with key tourist attractions. In 2019 two people were killed in a terror attack which started at Fishmonger’s Hall just near London Bridge. And Ms Booth warned that in future the £2m grant from Transport for London (TfL) for roadside policing might be affected in the future. The transport body has been hard hit through loss of income because of the pandemic but it said the grant for 2021/22 will continue at the same rate. Life-line for the isolated P8 Psychedelic street art P14

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