Police forces to go ahead with voluntary merger.
Lancashire and Cumbria Police Authorities yesterday announced the name of their new police force, after members agreed in February to volunteer to merge.
The new strategic "super force" will stretch north as far as Carlisle and south as far as West Lancashire, including Tarleton and Skelmersdale, as of April 1 2007.
Merseyside and Cheshire Police Forces have both refused to volunteer for a merger, a proposition that Home Secretary Charles Clarke is expected to force through later this year. Announcing the name of the new C&LC yesterday, Malcolm Doherty, chair of Lancashire Police Authority, said: "We are particularly pleased that, by volunteering for amalgamation, we secured funding of pounds 14m from the Government to help finance the implementation costs.
"We estimate total set-up costs will be in the region of pounds 20m and we also believe that we will see annual savings of pounds 4m-5m, so our decision, which the Government could have imposed upon us anyway, but probably with less financial help, was very much in the best financial interests of the local communities.
"Both authorities are proud to be the pathfinders in one of the biggest changes in policing for 30 years, in a move that we firmly believe is necessary to improve policing services across both Cumbria and Lancashire.
"Both are already high performing forces and further improvements will benefit all those living and working in the area, making it even safer and improving the quality of life in the communities."