Bristol mayor rethinks proposed PCSO cuts

George Ferguson
Image caption Mr Ferguson must make cuts of £35m to Bristol City Council's budget for next year

Plans to cut 32 police community support officer (PCSO) posts could be dropped, Bristol's mayor says.

Earlier this week, George Ferguson unveiled his budget proposals, which would see the city council save £540,000 by cutting the posts.

But after talks with police and crime commissioner (PCC), Sue Mounstevens, he said he would "carefully reflect" on whether to stop the funding.

Avon and Somerset Police fund 80 PCSO posts and must make £7m in budget cuts.

'Out of kilter'

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

Mr Ferguson has also stated that 330 council staff jobs must go to help achieve the overall savings.

In a joint statement, the mayor and Ms Mountstevens said: "We spoke frankly and without pulling punches, but also each listened respectfully and openly to each other today with a genuine spirit of cooperation.

"As a result, we have agreed that the mayor will go back and reflect further on the matter, before publishing his final budget plans."

Mr Ferguson 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.

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