County sets £1.1 billion budget

PUBLISHED: 01:01 21 February 2008 | UPDATED: 08:50 10 June 2010

COUNCIL tax bills could be set to rise by 3.9 per cent if Devon County Council approves its executive committee's recommendation. Members of the executive committee met on Tuesday, February 5, to discuss this year's budget and agreed proposals for Devon's

COUNCIL tax bills could be set to rise by 3.9 per cent if Devon County Council approves its executive committee's recommendation.Members of the executive committee met on Tuesday, February 5, to discuss this year's budget and agreed proposals for Devon's largest ever budget of £1.1 billion.The proposals still need to be ratified by the full council when it meets today (Thursday, February 14). The 3.9 per cent increase could mean band D householders will have to pay an extra £39.96 a year for the county council portion of the council tax.Councillor Brian Greenslade, chairman of the executive committee and leader of DCC, said the rise was 'fairly reasonable' when compared with some years in the past, citing the 4.7 per cent rise in 2006/07 and last year's 4.5 per cent increase.Cllr Greenslade said: "This is a significant budget with some very good news in it. We have already made efficiency savings this year of £13 million and have plans to save a further £15 million in efficiencies next year."Coupled to that, with government grant better than we had dared to hope, we are able to bring forward the largest budget ever which reflects the priorities of people in Devon."Mr Greenslade commented that Devon is still £48 per person worse off than the average county, despite a betterGovernment grant for the year. The council plans to plough an extra £500,000 into the youth service to provide more support for young people in the county and to tackle anti-social behaviour. Part of the money will be used to help set up preventative measures in partnership with other agencies to address anti-social behaviour in the county.A further £500,000 will be allocated for highways maintenance gully emptying, alongside £1.5 million, which has already been allocated to improve drainage on Devon's roads to cut the impact of flooding.

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