DEVON County Council is to get more money from the Government next year, but it's still not enough, according to council Leader Cllr Brian Greenslade. The Government announced its Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement yesterday (Wednesday).
DEVON County Council is to get more money from the Government next year, but it's still not enough, according to council Leader Cllr Brian Greenslade.The Government announced its Provisional Local Government Finance Settlement yesterday (Wednesday). The Formula Grant for Devon County Council will rise from £145.276 million in 2008/09 to £152.999 million in 2009/10, representing a 5.3 per cent increase.Cllr Greenslade said: "On the face of it, a 5.3 per cent increase on last year's settlement looks good, but the Formula Grant plus the funding we will receive for our schools, per head of population, is still significantly below that of comparable authorities."Devon this year will receive £40 per person less than the average for similar two-tier shire counties, which amounts to £30 million less funding for public services across the county."We must also consider the added pressures announced this week by the Government in their pre-budget report, with increases in fuel duty and employers National Insurance contributions, which both will have an impact to increase our costs."No more so, than in this current economic climate, is it important for councils to continue to look to make efficiency savings to reinvest in vital front line services. We will continue to do so, having made efficiency savings last year of £13 million and this year of £15 million."And it's important to remind ourselves of the Boundary Committee's proposal to create a single Unitary Council for Devon which could save as much as £28 million over its first five years, should the Government choose to adopt the proposal. "Despite this, we will continue to press the Government to reform the way that local government is funded so that Devon tax-payers get a fairer deal.