Council budget cuts will hit Devon services

SERVICES will suffer as council budgets are slashed in the “toughest” round of spending cuts in a generation.

Devon County Council (DCC) has vowed to protect vulnerable children and keep libraries open as it looks to save the equivalent of �26 million by 2012.

The council’s leader, John Hart, said children’s safeguarding and children in care budgets will not be cut.

He added none of the county’s 50 libraries will close, but opening hours could change.

Looming cuts follow the Government’s decision to slash local councils’ budgets by 27 per cent over the next four years.

In the 2011/2012 financial year, Devon’s support will be cut by 12.1 per cent - roughly �26 million.

Mr Hart said: “I am not going to try to pull the wool over anyone’s eyes. These spending cuts are going to hurt. We are still working on the detail of our budget, which won’t be finalised until February.

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“But, when you make these sort of reductions, it is inevitable that services will suffer.

“By the end of this process, DCC will not be doing anywhere near as much as it has in the past.

“We are still determined to do our utmost to protect the most vulnerable people in our society, whether they are young or old.

“The vast majority of people have been very clear about their priorities – protecting children from abuse, supporting children with special needs and looking after the elderly and those who care for others.”

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