Big spending boost for vital county services

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Posted on: 16 December 2019

Inflation-busting increases in spending on vital services are being planned by Devon County Council.

The authority’s ruling Cabinet has agreed a draft budget which will see a rise of 6.4 per cent in spending on children’s services, adult care and roads across the county.

It will mean an extra £16 million for adult care and health, £9 million more for children’s services and £1.7 million for highways.

In total the council’s spending will rise by £31.8 million from £498 million in 2019/20 to nearly £530 million in 2020/21.

But the Cabinet heard warnings about the relentless rise in demand for services.

photograph of Cllr Stuart Barker

Cllr Stuart Barker

Cabinet member for finance, Stuart Barker, said: “Demand is ever increasing, partly driven by demographic change as people live longer and have greater and more significant needs.”

County Treasurer Mary Davis said the increases in spending might look reasonable.
But she added: “I am aware my colleagues are coping with a huge increase in demand for their services.”

The Cabinet heard that the General Election had meant a delay in the Government notifying councils of what financial support they would receive in the next financial year.

Mr Barker said the Cabinet had delayed its January meeting so that changes could be made if necessary.

But he added: “I am fairly confident this represents a fair view of what the budget will look like, given what we know now.

“If we can improve the budget after we get our final figures from the Government then we certainly will.”

1 comment on “Big spending boost for vital county services

  1. Anon says:

    Not really inflation busting when the lack of money into the services has fallen cumulatively over the last 10 years. Political spin – nothing more, austerity still exists.

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