Devon’s budget in the black for the 26th consecutive year

County Hall

Posted on: 13 June 2017

Devon County Council’s budget is in the black for the 26th consecutive year.

The authority underspent by £43,000 in the 2016/17 financial year on a net revenue budget of £492.922 million.

County Treasurer Mary Davis will tell councillors at this week’s meeting of the Council’s Cabinet: “The financial year has now ended and it is pleasing that the final position is a small underspending of £43,000 after transfers to reserves.”

But Mrs Davis will warn that adult social care continues to be subject to significant financial pressures at a time of continuing austerity.

At the end of the year, 325 more packages of care for people with disabilities had been agreed than were budgeted for.

And across all services for older people and people with physical and learning disabilities there was a total of 10,032 care packages compared with the 9,838 budgeted for.

In her end of term report to council leaders, Mrs Davis says: “The council has dealt with an overspend of just under £10 million in People services.

“It has done this and still been able to increase reserves by £15.3 million.”

She says this has been achieved through good housekeeping in other service areas, income receipts received towards the end of the year and the continuing benefit of accountancy changes made last year. Mrs Davis says Devon settled its claims in relation to Dartington Primary School and received the aggregate amount of £8.015 million. The cost of rebuilding the school was being funded as part of the capital programme so the £8 million was being transferred to the Budget Management Reserve.

Mrs Davis continues: “In 2016/17, the budget for children’s social work and child protection was increased by £11.4 million and expenditure has stayed within the budget.

“In 2017/18, the budget for adult social care and health has been increased by £18.7 million.

“The council must ensure that it stays within the budget set for 2017/18 and does its best to ensure that there is not a third year of overspending in social care services.”

Mrs Davis says that education overspent by £1.4 million due to an increase in the number of children with special needs requiring personalised transport and there was serious pressure on the budget for children with high needs.

Mrs Davis says Place services showed an overall underspend of £1.7 million and corporate services were £1 million underspent.

She said Devon had delivered a very large programme of capital investment in 2016/17 with over £132.5 million being spent.

Among the projects completed were the Ivybridge recycling centre, another section of the Tithebarn Link Road in Exeter and a number of school expansion schemes.

Cabinet meets at 10:30am on Wednesday 14 June.

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