Spending boost for Devon care services

Posted on: 6 January 2016

Devon’s under pressure care services are to get a £16 million boost.

Devon County Council is planning 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 £93.4 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

Next Wednesday’s Cabinet meeting will hear from 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 will tell councillors.

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

“The reductions to grant funding are greater than even the most pessimistic would have anticipated.”

She says proposed changes to managing capital financing charges, linking them in a more appropriate way to the life of the asset, would produce a benefit of just over £8.7 million.

“Other local authorities have or are implementing similar accounting changes,” she says.

*Children’s services have been overspending this year, mainly because of an increase in the number of children being taken into care.

A special committee was set up in the autumn under council deputy leader John Clatworthy to get the budget back on track.

The latest budget monitoring report reveals they have succeeded in reducing the deficit.

The projected overspend for People has been reduced by £1.8 million from £9.1 million in the past two months.

Posted in: DCC Homepage | Health and Wellbeing | Politics