Spending boost for Devon care services

County Hall

Posted on: 13 January 2016

Devon County Council is set to spend at least £443 millions on services in the new financial year.

Devon’s ruling Cabinet today agreed to set a target budget which includes a £16 million boost for under pressure care services.

But there will be a reduction of £3.4 million in Place services which covers highways, libraries and the economy.

The target budget calls for the county to spend an extra £16.1 million on its People services in the new financial year.

That’s an increase of 5.4 per cent on this year’s spending.

The People budget covers children and adult care as well as education.

The boost for care spending in 2016/17 comes despite budget cuts in other departments.

The target budget for Place services calls for a 3.5 per cent cut from £97.3 million to £93.9 million.

The budget for the Corporate Services department, which provides backroom support, will fall by 8.8 per cent from £36.7 million to £33.4 million

The Cabinet meeting was told by County Treasurer Mary Davis that the Government’s grant to Devon will reduce from £179.8 million in 2015/16 to £151.6 million in 2016/17.

“This is a reduction of £28.2 million, nearly 15.7 per cent,” she told councillors.

“This is slightly higher than the average reduction for county councils which is 14.6 per cent.”

The council’s deputy leader and finance spokesman John Clatworthy said Devon had been disadvantaged once again in its financial settlement from the Government.

“This is not a good settlement for local government,” he said.

“We have reduced our spending by £208 million since 2009 and there is more to take out,” he said.

Council leader John Hart said the target budget had been calculated on the anticipation of a 1.99 per cent rise in the general council tax.

Any rise in the rate for general services will be decided at the annual budget meeting next month.

The Government has set a ceiling of 1.99 per cent for general council tax before a referendum has to be held.

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