Budget proposals 2016/17
Posted on: 28 January 2016
The North Devon Council Executive is putting forward a number of proposals to plug yet another significant government cut.
The council’s grant has been slashed by 15% leaving it with a £750,000 gap to fill.
Proposals to balance the budget include:
- a 1.99% increase in the NDC share of the council tax which hasn’t been put up since 2010. This would be an increase of £3.28 a year or six pence a week for a band D property
- cuts in grants to local organisations to save £100,000
- a review of all fees and charges, some of which have not increased for six years
This year, the council will realise the full benefits of moving out of the civic centre, saving £320,000 a year in rent, preventing further service cuts.
But the future continues to look bleak with a further 30% cut in funding over the following three years.
Rural district councils have received the brunt of the government cuts, losing 44% funding between 2015 and 2020 compared to just 25% reductions for inner London Boroughs and 28% for city metropolitan councils. The council has responded strongly to a government consultation on local government funding, pointing out the gross injustice to rural communities where services often cost more to deliver. North Devon’s MP has also raised the issue by writing to the Secretary of State and instigating a debate in the House of Commons.
Council Leader Cllr Des Brailey says: “We are going to have to make some really tough decisions this year and it’s with a heavy heart that we look to increase council tax and other charges and reduce funding to really worthwhile local organisations. The government has delivered a terrible blow and we will continue the fight until we get a fairer deal for rural funding.”Community | Economy