Call for urgent Government review of council funding

County Hall

Posted on: 16 February 2017

There needs to be an urgent national review of local government funding, according to Devon’s most senior councillors.

The leader and deputy leader of Devon County Council today called for urgent action to maintain services.

Cllr John Hart

Council leader John Hart said the county’s budget had been cut by more than £267 million over the last seven years to meet Government austerity targets.

“This reduction has a very serious effect on the ability of this council to offer services to the people of Devon,” he said.

The future funding of services was uncertain because the Government was further reducing its grants and switching financial support to business rates but there was no clarity or certainty about how much that would generate.

“There is need for a serious review of local government funding as the increased demands now being put on local government are not being adequately funded by central Government,” said Mr Hart.

Cllr John Clatworthy

Deputy leader and finance chief, John Clatworthy, said he fully backed the calls for a complete review of social care by central Government to ensure a more appropriate and sustainable means of funding in future years.

“Hopefully, everybody is at last waking up to the fact that increased life expectancy is creating a whole set of new problems to deal with and the Government needs to make more resources available,” he said.

“It’s no good the Government reducing support on one hand and expecting local government to raise the additional funds locally on the other.”

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