A LABOUR councillor has slammed the Conservatives’ decision to ask for a fairer distribution of police resources, claiming it might leave Swindon worse off.

Coun Chris Watts, who represents the Liden, Eldene and Park South wards, labelled as “ill-conceived” and “knee-jerk” the council’s recent move to write to the police and crime commissioner demanding Swindon be given a fair share of resources.

It follows last week’s full council meeting in which members voted to write to Mr Macpherson in the hope of addressing the alleged inadequacy of the police’s response to increases in crime.

Labour wanted the council to write to Swindon’s MPs demanding more money from central government.

But the Conservatives said the problem is how police resources are allocated, the solution for which, it was agreed, was to “ensure that Swindon receives its fair share of policing” by appealing to the PCC.

But Coun Watts is concerned that this may have a detrimental effect.

He said: “The Labour motion asked for unity between the council and the MPs to get behind the PCC in requesting additional funds for our beleaguered police force.

“The motion put the concerns for the front line police and the people of Swindon first. Instead, the Conservatives used their majority to amend the motion, pointing the finger at the PCC for not allocating fair resources for Swindon.

“Angus Macpherson stated that Swindon already gets a greater proportion of the money when measured by population, which means that if he concedes to the Conservative councillors’ demands for a fairer distribution of resource, it is likely we will lose out.”

Chris added: “It is shocking and obvious that the Conservative group did not research the funding situation or consult with the PCC before pushing through their motion.”

Wiltshire Police receives the fourth lowest funding of forces in England and Wales from central government.

The force has saved £19 million since 2010 and has to save a further £4 million by 2020.

Mr Macpherson admitted that “we do not have fair funding compared to other forces”.

Speaking on BBC Wiltshire earlier this week, he said: "Swindon in fact gets slightly more proportion of the money than they could be entitled to on a measure [of population]."

He also said that policing demand is higher in Swindon due to a range of factors including its population density, significant size and location on the M4 corridor.

Responding to Coun Watts’ criticisms, David Renard, leader of the council, defended the decision to seek greater clarity from the PCC.

He said: “That is simply not true. We know that we receive just over half of the neighbourhood policing allocation, but it’s clear that Swindon generates a lot of police activity. You only need to look at the 999: What’s Your Emergency? programme, in which a majority of the incidents police attended were in Swindon.

“But we will have to look at what the PCC comes back with. We want to see, in writing, that he is prioritising in the way we think he should be.”