North Devon will be able to bid for a share of a £475m transport pot

The North Devon Link Road could be set to benefit from a £475million pot of cash, the autumn statement announced today (Wednesday).

The Chancellor George Osborne named the link road in a statement revealing the funding pot, available over the next five years.

The Local Majors Scheme would enable areas to bid for funding for transport projects it was not possible to pay for at a local level.

North Devon MP Peter Heaton-Jones was busy tweeting snippets from Westminster and said the spending review and autumn statement contained ‘lots of good news’ for North Devon.

Elsewhere, police and crime commissioner Tony Hogg welcomed the Chancellor’s news he wouldn’t be making further cuts to police budgets.

Mr Osborne said: “There will be real terms protection for police funding. The police protect us, and we’re going to protect the police.”

He added: “At the centre of our plans to help working people at every stage of their lives are further investments in schools for our children; a world-class National Health Service; new protections for police and defence budgets and the biggest rise in state pensions since 2001.”

“The South West is a key part of that plan and that’s why today I have confirmed major investments there in areas like transport, education, culture as well as driving down the costs of local water bills. This is a Spending Review which delivers for the people of the South West.”

Mr Hogg responded: “Today we see the product of a longer campaign to persuade Government not to proceed with disastrous cuts to police budgets.

“The change in the Government’s position makes it possible for us to plan on building a policing service for 2020.”

But he said they would continue to look at efficiency savings so more resources could be devoted to front line policing and it was too early to say what impact this would have in Devon and Cornwall.

It was also announced the Government would continue to provide £50 off the water bills of South West Water customers, for the rest of this Parliament.

Commenting, shadow leader of North Devon Council, Councillor Brian Greenslade said: “My view is the confirmation that this Government is honouring the commitment made before the election by Chief Secretary to Treasury Danny Alexander to Nick Harvey and myself to include improving the North Devon Link Road in the South West Infrastructure fund is welcome, although it now appears to be a bidding arrangement to a new ‘Majors’ fund.

“Also welcome are the two U-turns the Chancellor is making to scrap cuts to tax credits and not to cut the police budget.”