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’

13:19 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.”

0 comments

Other News Stories

11:15
Charity founder Jane Howorth hopes someone will rehome their 500,000th hen.

British Hen Welfare Trust submits plans for new centre at South Molton

Read more
11:11
Don't miss North Devon Foodfest. Picture: Steve Seatherton

Stands now available for the region’s biggest celebration of food and drink at Barnstaple Pannier Market

Read more
13:13

Fire service called to blaze on road from Woods to Abbots Cross

Read more
Yesterday, 15:25
Bideford clean up. Picture: Graham Hobbs

Second community ‘spruce up’ day is hailed a great success

Read more
Yesterday, 12:13

Police appeal for witnesses after teenager was assaulted twice in a week

Read more
Yesterday, 11:52
The high altitude balloon is launched at Caen School as pupils and staff look on. Picture: Contributed

A balloon launch has given pupils at Caen School in Braunton the chance to view the earth from 100,000 feet.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:00
North Devon Magistrates' Court.

The 47-year-old admitted what he said was ‘terrible’ and has cut back on his drinking ‘drastically’ since incident.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:00
Pecocks will be opening at Atlantic Village next week.

A brand new national clothing store is opening in Bideford this week.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:00
The new tourism and lifestyle building at Petroc.

A festival of learning at Petroc will highlight part-time courses and give people a chance to see the new building before it opens in September.

Read more
Yesterday, 08:00
Torrington Pool.

The day full of free events aims to encourage people of all ages to stay fit and active with taster sessions.

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 16°C

min temp: 12°C

Most Read News

Great British Life

Great British Life

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

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications