More money will be spent on children’s services and adult social care in Devon, according to the county council’s target budget.
The target budget was approved by the Cabinet today (Wednesday 9 December 2020) but will not be finally set until February.
The target budget calls for an extra £16.2 million to be spent on adult care and health in the new financial year. That’s an increase of 6.2 per cent.
There will be an increase of £10.3 million for hard-pressed children services if the budget is ratified. That’s a rise of 7.1 per cent.
The revenue budget for highways, waste and infrastructure will reduce by 1.4 per cent from £57.8 million to just over £57 million but there will be more spending on roads in the capital budget which will not be confirmed until February.
Overall, the county’s spending will rise from £542.8. million to over £571 million.
In a report to councillors, County Treasurer Mary Davis said that some vital figures were still not known.
In her report, she said: “The provisional Local Government Finance Settlement has not yet been announced but is expected the week commencing 14 December.
“The Chancellor of the Exchequer’s Spending Review provided more detail than some have in the past, but the council’s funding allocations will not be known until next week at the earliest when the provisional settlement is due to be announced. The size of some grant funding streams may not be known until the new calendar year.”
Council leader John Hart said: “This year has been unique for council finances with massive extra pressures on our services caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
“Our health and social care services for adults were under immense pressure before Covid-19 and those pressures have not gone away.
“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.
“And our social care support for children and our services for children with special needs and disabilities are facing unprecedented demand.
“We have always said our priority is to protect the most vulnerable in our society and I believe this budget will help to do that. But demand for these services continues to grow at a relentless pace.”