Devon’s council tax is set to rise by almost five per cent this year – to be spent on the elderly, vulnerable and roads.

The county council cabinet today (Friday) recommended a 4.99 per cent increase in council tax be put forward to the budget meeting on Thursday, February 15.

That will comprise a 1.99 per cent rise for general services, two per cent for adult social care and one per cent dedicated to drainage, patching and potholes on the county's roads.

The increase will add £63.27 to the average Band D bill or just over £1.20 a week.

But the council says it will mean more money for hard-pressed adult care and health, services for vulnerable children and vital road maintenance.

The budget provides an extra £13million for adult care and health to take the total care budget to £227.8m.

In addition the Government has announced an extra £2.2m to support adult social care in Devon.

Councillors are also being recommended to accept the Government's offer of an extra one per cent rise in council tax to spend on dedicated highways work.

Ministers this week increased Devon's share of the Rural Services Delivery Grant by £1.5m, which will also be spent on roads, giving an additional £6.5m for maintenance and repairs.

County treasurer Mary Davis told councillors, even with these increases, the budget would be hard to deliver against rapidly rising demand for services.

She said: "Innovative work with partner authorities will be needed to manage demand for social care.

"And a new approach to service delivery and commissioning will be required to try to ensure the needs of the young and vulnerable are met."

Council leader John Hart said: "Our vital health and social care services for adults continue to be under immense pressure both in Devon and nationally.

"We have always said our priority is to protect the most vulnerable in our society and I believe this target budget will help to do that."

He added: "But many people want us to spend more on our roads and that's why I want to take up the Government's unexpected offer of an extra one per cent on the council tax to be dedicated to our highways."

The council voted to increase its share of the council tax by the same amount last year