North Devon Council gets tough to meet �1.3M deficit

TOUGH decisions have been made by North Devon Council in a bid to balance the books and close a gaping �1.3 million hole in its annual budget. Yesterday (Wednesday) a meeting of the full council agreed to increase its share of the council tax by 2.5 per c

TOUGH decisions have been made by North Devon Council in a bid to balance the books and close a gaping �1.3 million hole in its annual budget.

Yesterday (Wednesday) a meeting of the full council agreed to increase its share of the council tax by 2.5 per cent, slash the North Devon Theatres budget by 10 per cent and the North Devon + budget by 15, cut �500 from individual community councillor grants and add 10p an hour to parking charges.

The meeting heard managers across the council had reviewed their services and come up with more than �400,000 in savings.

The council says the �1.3 million shortfall for the year 2010/2011 is a consequence of the economic downturn and a lack of funding from central government.


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It said cuts have been made to "non-essential" functions to ensure key public services are not affected.

"It's a real achievement to have balanced the budget in such difficult circumstances," said Leader of the council, Councillor Des Brailey.

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"I thank my colleagues on the council for making such difficult decisions and I'm very grateful to our officers who have worked tirelessly to come up with the savings we need.

"But it's not a case of 'job done.' This financial situation is not going away and we are already making plans to make more savings next year and beyond to see us through this tough period."

The council's budget is available to view on the North Devon Council website www.northdevon.gov.uk.

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