Don't miss a story sign up to the North Devon Gazette's FREE daily newsletter CLICK HERE

Devon needs to ‘bang on the door of Downing Street’

PUBLISHED: 13:19 26 February 2014 | UPDATED: 13:28 26 February 2014

Frank Biederman, Devon County Councillor for Fremington Rural.

Frank Biederman, Devon County Councillor for Fremington Rural.

Archant

County council must shout louder about rural funding divide, warns councillor.

DEVON County Council needs to ‘bang on the door of 10 Downing Street’ and demand a fair-funding deal to protect services for the young, elderly and disabled, a local councillor has warned.

Council-run care homes, youth clubs and day centres could all close after the authority approved £28million worth of cuts on Thursday.

Frank Biederman, county councillor for Fremington Rural, spoke to the Gazette about the Rural Fair Share campaign before the budget meeting at County Hall in Exeter.

He said people in North Devon paid more council tax but received up to 40 per cent less in funding per head than urban areas.

“People in North Devon living in a band D property get £140 less funding from central government per household, per year than someone, say, living in Oxford,” he said.

“This money would pay for all the services the county is looking to cut; it would keep care homes, day centres, public record offices and youth centres open – and it would pay for road repairs.

“It’s massively unfair and the Government needs to level the playing field; we cannot survive until we get a fair deal.”

Mr Biederman said the Conservative-run county council needed to put Devon residents before its ‘political masters’.

“Devon County Council should be much more vociferous in its representations to central government,” he said.

“All groups at North Devon district level are fighting for a better deal – cross party and cross group, we are all fighting for North Devon residents and the county council should be taking our lead.

“I wouldn’t want to be (council leader) John Hart for all the tea in China but he needs to make the point to David Cameron and Eric Pickles.

“We need to be going up to Downing Street and banging on the front door. Now is the time to put the pressure on the Government and represent the people of Devon – not party politics.”

Also at Thursday’s meeting, Devon County Council approved a 1.99 per cent increase in council tax, equating to around a 42p a week rise for people living in a band D property.

In doing so, the council has missed out on a freeze grant of £3.3million, although the increase is estimated to bring in £24 million over the next four years.

Earlier this month, North Devon MP Nick Harvey slammed the Government’s lack of action on introducing fairer funding for rural communities.

Mr Harvey voted against the Local Government Finance Settlement 2014/15, which sets out government grant allocations for councils across England.

He said: “Why should some of the poorest people in the country, on the lowest wages, pay on average £86 higher in council tax than urban-dwellers, yet receive far less government funding and watch local services erode around them?

“This is an impossible situation for councils, who on average receive £145 less than their urban counterparts – a funding gap as wide as 50 per cent.”

Comments have been disabled on this article.

Other News Stories

15:05

Want to help beat cancer? Join the Relay For Life event at Barnstaple Rugby Club today (Saturday) and right through the night until Sunday lunchtime

Read more

The MetOffice has issued a yellow weather warning for heavy rainfall and thunderstorms across North Devon today (Saturday).

Read more
12:00

Take a look at the super pictures our iwitness24 photographers have been capturing this week.

Read more

Five days of Chulmleigh Old Fair 2017 from Tuesday, July 25 to Sunday, July 30

Read more
09:00

Hundreds turned out for the annual Dogs Trust Ilfracombe Fun Day at Mullacott Equestrian Centre

Read more

Appeal started by Ilfracombe friends sees offers flood in from all over the UK and as far away as New Zealand.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:48

Club gets refurbished changing facilities in time for the new football season

Read more
Yesterday, 16:00

Butcher’s knives and bayonette are among 100 knives handed in at Barnstaple Police Station - but front desk staff urge people not to wait for an amnesty to hand in blades.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:50

Bideford New Year’s Eve celebrations will continue this year, as organisers promise children and adult’s entertainment, as well as ‘bigger and better’ fireworks than ever.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:22

North Devon flood alerts are in place and the Met Office is warning up to two centimetres of rain could fall in a very short time

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 17°C

min temp: 9°C

Most Read News

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Competitions
North Devon Football League
Order Photos
Family notices
iwitness24
Facebook
Twitter
Google Plus Page
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Read Online

Image
Read the North Devon Gazette e-edition E-edition

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications