Fears for North Devon services as more government spending cuts loom

More spending cuts are looming...

More spending cuts are looming... - Credit: Archant

The Chancellor announces local councils can expect a further 10 per cent cut in funding after next year.

THERE are real fears for the future of public services in North Devon after the government today (Wednesday) announced a further 10 per cent cut in funding.

North Devon Council Leader, Councillor Brian Greenslade has warned local services are ‘at a crossroads’ after Chancellor George Osborne revealed council budgets would be slashed again for 2015/16.

In his spending review announcement earlier, Mr Osborne highlighted how local councils face a further 10 per cent cut to their central government funding.

North Devon Council said that was on top of an average 33 per cut since the last spending review in November 2010.

Mr Greenslade says this means the region’s services will inevitably be affected: “In North Devon, we’ve seen our central government funding for local services reduce from £8.3m in 2010-11 to £5.4m for 2013-14,” he said.

“Today’s announcement means that we’ll have even less in 2015/16. Quite simply, we’re at the point where we can’t save any more without impacting on our services.

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“We’ve continuously raised this, but it seems our very real concerns have been ignored. However, we will not give up fighting our corner, especially the unfairness in funding between rural and urban authorities.”

Chief executive Mike Mansell said the council had already faced large reductions in its central government funding during the past coupled of years: “We’ve managed to minimise the effect of this being passed on to the community by focussing on our day-to-day spending on supplies and services, not replacing staff who leave and working more closely with other authorities and organisations. “Today’s announcement means the council will have to make even tougher decisions, which will inevitably affect our services and operations.”

The council said it was now waiting for a breakdown of the spending review to learn what the reduction would mean in real terms for the district.

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