Conservatives will retain power until 2017.

CONSERVATIVES in Devon have won control of the county council for another four years.

They won 38 seats of the 62 available in yesterday’s local elections when the results were declared this afternoon.

The Tories took over the running of Devon County Council in 2009 and will now retain power until 2017.

Party leader John Hart said: “We are very grateful to the people of Devon for putting their trust in us for another four years.

“In 2009, we promised to make Devon County Council a more efficient and business-like authority and keep council tax down and I firmly believe we delivered on those promises.

“There has been no increase in council tax for county council taxpayers for three years.

“We have reduced staffing by over a quarter without widespread redundancies and reduced the council’s debt by nearly £90 million.

“We have achieved that whilst maintaining our services for the most vulnerable, the young and the elderly and we have done all that at a time of unprecedented economic austerity.

“We restructured the county council by doing different things and doing things differently.

”We fought this election on local issues and on our record of delivering for the people of Devon.

”We were the only party in Devon to field a candidate in every seat and I urged people to vote for us on our local record.

“We will do our utmost not to let them down and to continue to do what’s best for Devon.”

Mr Hart said he was delighted voters across Devon had given his administration another four years at County Hall to finish what it had started.

He pledged to ensure the completion of the superfast broadband roll-out, the opening of the South Devon Link Road and the major job-creating infrastructure projects east of Exeter

He said there would be more investment in better care for dementia sufferers and close work with partners to provide Extra Care Housing.

Devon County Council would continue the campaign it had already begun for better road and rail links with the rest of the country and for more Government cash to repair and maintain Devon’s highway network.

The authority would support local businesses and help create the climate for them to expand their operations and it would continue to raise the skills of young people.

“We will fulfil these pledges as we kept our promises from four years ago,” said Mr Hart.

“We will do that and, at the same time, continue to run a business-like and efficient county council and give the best value for money that we can.”