Multi million pound cash boost for vital services in Devon
Posted on: 15 January 2020
More than £43 million extra will be pumped into vital services in Devon if a target budget is agreed next month.
Devon County Council’s Cabinet today approved the target budget of £541 million for 2020/2021.
That’s an increase of 8.7 per cent on this year.
There will be extra cash for social care and health, children’s services, roads and drainage.
County council leader John Hart said: “This is a good budget for Devon and better than we have had in a few years. There is extra money going in.
“We will never have enough to meet the rising demand.
“But we have more money going into adult and children’s services and some extra money for road drainage because, with climate change, the rain is coming down heavier than ever and we must ensure our roads can cope.”
The targets agreed today represent an £11 million boost on the draft budget agreed in December.
In a report to the Cabinet, County Treasurer Mary Davis said: “The December targets were set in the context of great national uncertainty and were therefore cautious.
“As the provisional settlement is as expected, there is now an opportunity to increase the targets further to support key services.
“These now total just over £541 million which represents an increase of £11.3 million on the December targets and an increase of £43.1 million or 8.7 per cent on 2019/20.”
If the budget is agreed by the full council next month, it will mean an extra £23.7 million for adult care and health, £11.5 million more for children’s services and £2.7 million for highways including £1 million to help deal with drainage issues on the road network.
In total the council’s spending will rise by £43.1 million from £498 million in 2019/20.
In December, the Cabinet heard warnings about the relentless rise in demand for services.
The 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.”
Mrs Davis added: “I am aware my colleagues are coping with a huge increase in demand for their services.”Posted in: Community | DCC Homepage | Politics