Mike Barton, Durham's Chief Constable, reponds to today's Spending Review.

It was Harold Wilson who said a week is a long time in politics. Well he wasn’t wrong.

Last week in my column for the Northern Echo I was relieved that the funding formula had been put on hold but was not looking forward to the Comprehensive Spending Review.

George Osborne spoke for one hour and 40 minutes in Parliament yesterday and it wasn’t until his final flourish that he mentioned the police.

I was resigned to losing about 25% of our budget, not that I wanted that to happen of course.

So when the Chancellor said “no cuts” I have to admit I was momentarily lost for words.

I suppose that is why George Osborne has been described by some as the most political of recent Chancellors.

So this is good news.

But it is cautious good news because all the increases that have been announced for the Security Services and other areas may be top sliced from our current budget which in effect equates to losing cops.

Only last year we were top sliced by several million pounds to fund expansion in Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary and the Independent Police Complaints Commission.

Myself and Durham Constabulary’s Police and Crime Commissioner Ron Hogg have had the briefest of chats since the news broke.

One thing we talked about was reassuring local communities that this will mean we can protect neighbourhood police teams.

I believe this is the most powerful argument in Parliament.

You cannot fight the terrorists with just spies and guns. You need friendly ears as part of the community to spot any toxic sprigs of violent extremism.

So George Osborne said he had listened. I am glad he has.

It is now down to me and all my colleagues to keep Durham Constabulary at the pinnacle of policing.