More money for adult social care, children and health planned by Devon County Council
Posted on: 8 December 2017
A big boost on spending for adult social care, health and children’s services is being planned by Devon County Council despite continuing Government cuts.
Next year’s target budget calls for an extra £13 million to be spent on adult care and health in 2018/19. That’s a rise of over 6 per cent and would take the total care budget to £227.8 million.
The target budget also calls for increases in spending for children’s services of 5.5 per cent or £6.5 million taking the total budget for children to £125.5 million.
The budget targets will be considered by Devon’s Cabinet next Wednesday but they come with a tough health warning from County Treasurer Mary Davis.
In a report to councillors, she says the Government still hasn’t confirmed what level of grant the authority will receive next year but the provisional announcement is expected before Christmas.
“As the provisional settlement has not been received, there is inherent uncertainty,” she says.
If it differs markedly from the four-year funding plan set out in 2016/17 then a further report might be needed in the New Year.
Under the new proposals, the revenue budget for highways, infrastructure and waste would reduce by 2.7 per cent to take account of a number of new contracts which have generated multi-million pound efficiencies.
In all, the target revenue budget for the county for 2018/19 would be £477.391 million.
Council leader John Hart said: “Our vital health and social care services for adults continue to be under immense pressure both in Devon and nationally.
“In Devon we have some of the highest proportions of people over 65 and people over 85 in the country and they need and deserve our help and support.
“We also believe it is imperative to do the best we can for our children and young people to give them the best possible start in life.
“We have always said our priority is to protect the most vulnerable in our society and I believe this target budget will help to do that.
“We know that many people are concerned about highways and the maintenance of their local roads.
“This year we have re-negotiated a number of contracts and made considerable efficiency savings.
“We’re also working smarter and greener, for example installing LED lightbulbs in our street lighting.
“This rigorous approach to doing business means we will be able to meet the Government’s continuing austerity targets while still providing the same – or an improved – service.”
Devon County Council’s Cabinet meets next Wednesday, December 13 at 10.30am. The county council budget meeting is in February.