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

Yesterday, 22:23
Storm Imogen batters the promenade at Westward Ho! on Monday afternoon. Picture: Graham Hobbs

Huge waves batter the promenade as gale force winds and high tides combine to unleash dramatic display of Mother Nature on the North Devon coast

Read more
Yesterday, 18:02
The Gazette has launched the A Better Link for North Devon campaign to help speed up improvements to the North Devon Link Road and highlight just how crucial it is to the region and its economy.

Surveys will help form part of multi-million-pound bid for major improvements to A361 and A30 between Bideford and Tiverton.

Read more
Yesterday, 13:06

Fire fighters and highways crews spend hours on scene trying to divert stream away from flooded cottage

Read more
Yesterday, 12:47
The new bridge in Barnstaple. Pic: Tony Howells

The Taw Bridge in Barnstaple has closed to all vehicles as wind speeds reach 70mph and is ‘not likely’ to open before rush hour.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:44
Ilfracombe is lashed by Storm Imogen. Picture: Andrew Pettey.

Westward Ho! and Ilfracombe are among communities bracing for another high tide at 6pm this evening

Read more
Yesterday, 10:28
Gale force winds blew off part of the original annex roof at the civic centre in Barnstaple. Picture: Matt Smart

Part of annex roof found in staff car park

Read more
Sunday, February 7, 2016
There could be some big waves coming in overnight tonight (Sunday). Picture: Graham Hobbs

North Devon has suffered a beating this weekend with heavy rain causing flooding - and it’s set to be another unsettled night as Storm Imogen hits tonight (Sunday).

Read more
Sunday, February 7, 2016

Devon County Council will be carrying out works in Barnstaple from Monday with temporary traffic lights in place.

Read more
Saturday, February 6, 2016
Residents have been clearing up flood debris and mud at Corner Lane in Combe Martin

Residents are busy with clean-up operations this afternoon (Saturday) following the earlier downpours.

Read more
Saturday, February 6, 2016
Pilton residents protesting against plans for yet more homes in the area. Picture: Sarah Howells

Residents have had enough as new proposals for 44 homes add to more than 600 new houses approved by North Devon Council for the area.

Read more

Local Weather

Partly Cloudy

Partly Cloudy

max temp: 6°C

min temp: 4°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
HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Local business directory

North Devon's trusted business finder

Find planning applications