“In his statement in November the Chancellor said that the police grant for next year would be the same as this however, we now learn first that the grant is reduced by almost £1m and second that we are expected to raise additional funding by increasing the charge to council tax payers by the maximum permitted.

“This settlement allows nothing for inflation, including increasing demands on the force and pay awards, which will have to be found either by putting up council tax or making further savings or both.

“Over the coming weeks we shall continue to look for savings while talking to district council leaders and the public about what we can bare locally.

“Our overall commitment to defend neighbourhood policing will be the top priority.”