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In addition to the reduction in core government funding to the police set out above, I intend to reduce resource funding for counterterrorism policing by £10 million in 2010-11. The Government will none the less still be providing £569 million to forces through police counterterrorism specific grants this year, maintaining 2009-10 funding levels.
Counterterrorism policing has benefited from 10 consecutive years of significant growth in funding. I will be taking advice from the police on the most appropriate way to find these savings to ensure that the police service retains the necessary capabilities to counter terrorist activity and support our national security.
The Government believe that high-speed rail has the potential to bring significant and long-lasting benefits for Britain's economy and society. But we also recognise that there can be unavoidable consequences for those who live closest to any route put forward for such a network, particularly when they urgently need to sell their property. It is for this reason that the Government are of the view that an exceptional hardship scheme is absolutely necessary to help those who are most directly and immediately affected.
Details of such how such an exceptional hardship scheme might operate were published for consultation on 11 March. In order to limit the delay for those in most urgent need of financial assistance, this consultation was due to run for 10 weeks, ending on 20 May. However, having received representations which argued that 10 weeks is not sufficient to allow all those with an interest to have the fullest possible opportunity to comment on these proposals, I announced last week that the deadline for that consultation would be extended by four weeks to 17 June.
In taking this decision, I have been aware of its implications for those in the most urgent need. Therefore, without prejudice to the outcome of the consultation,
27 May 2010 : Column WS19
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