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

Two 19-year-old victims were allegedly kicked and punched by a pair of men in Barnstaple, can you help?

Read more
13:26

New Road partially blocked but due to reopen shortly

Read more
13:16
The land at Fremington sold for £22,000.

Four acre plot on estuary fetches four times its guide price at Clive Emson auction.

Read more
****

Survey by The Children’s Society finds council tax debt is ‘widespread’ among North Devon and Torridge.

Read more
Sarah Stott from Childrens Hospice South West with members of staff from Dainton's self storage.

Barnstaple storage facility raises more than £6,000 for Children’s Hospice South West.

Read more
North Devon Leisure Centre in Barnstaple. Picture: Andy Keeble

Fitness consultancy launches new class at North Devon Leisure Centre to help people who have survived a stroke.

Read more
Yesterday, 19:00
Rodney Cann will stand as a Conservative in the May local elections. Picture: Tony Gussin

Deputy leader of district council will stand for the party he was deselected from at the last election.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:11
North Devon's election candidates busy answering YOUR questions at Gazette HQ.

Catch up on Thursday night’s live online election hustings with the North Devon candidates.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:14
Waterloo House in Lynton is believed to be the oldest boarding house in the village.

The Grade II listed Waterloo House dates back to 1828 - and is on the market as a bed and breakfast.

Read more
Yesterday, 12:53
School governors and pupils at the opening of phase two of the Chulmleigh project in September 2014

Good news for North Devon as minister makes Condition Improvement Fund announcement

Read more

Local Weather

Overcast

Overcast

max temp: 8°C

min temp: 7°C

Most Read News

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
Family Notices 24

Digital Edition

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



North Devon's trusted business finder