Over the past five years the County Council has saved £174m – giving a total current net budget of £500m to spend on important public services such as adult social care and road maintenance in Devon.
New Government spending targets means that a further £110m of savings are likely to be needed over the next 4 years with £35m of this in the coming year 2016/17.
Finding these savings whilst continuing to do what is most important for the people of Devon is becoming increasingly difficult and challenging. Each year it is harder and harder to balance the budget and meet our core duties such as protecting children and supporting the elderly and vulnerable. To continue to do the best we can for Devon residents we have to look at everything we do and the way we do it. This means making some tough choices.
Whilst every effort is being made to protect vital local services by cutting our costs and finding efficiencies, finding the scale of savings required inevitably means making major changes in the way some services are delivered and, where necessary, some significant service reductions.
Throughout autumn 2015 there was a series of meetings across the county about the tough choices the County Council faces in setting its budget for the coming year.
There were nine meetings in total with district, town and parish councillors.
A budget priorities survey also took place from October 2015 to January 2016.