Devon County Council (DCC) has pledged to boost its children’s services budget if its target budget is agreed next month.

The council’s target revenue budget for the year ahead was agreed by cabinet on Wednesday.

The overall budget will rise by three per cent, from £479 million to £493 million if approved by the full council in February.

The target budget sets out a 9.4 per cent rise in the children’s services budget, with £11.5 million set to boost an area the council says is under considerable pressure from increased demand.

Budgets for community, health and environment and highways infrastructure will both rise by 0.7 per cent.

Spending on adult care and health will go up by £4.5 million - a two per cent increase.

In a report to councillors, DCC treasurer Mary Davis said the budget increase was despite an 11.7 per cent reduction in funding from central government.

She also said the Government was allowing local authorities to increase council tax by three per cent before a referendum needed to be held and councillors can also levy an additional one per cent if they wished, to only be spent on adult social care.

The county’s capital programme – which will include significant amounts of cash for road repairs – will be decided next month.