Devon County Council is planning to continue its contribution to adult homelessness prevention services for the next financial year – but says it’s still looking for a sustainable long-term funding solution.

Last year the council proposed withdrawing a total of £1.5 million in funding to five hostels and a network that helps people struggling on low incomes to stay in their homes.

That proposal was scrapped after severe concerns were raised by the leader of East Devon District Council, along with local charities helping the homeless. The county council agreed to continue funding the services until the end of March 2024.

Cuts to spending on homelessness services had been on the agenda for last week’s  Cabinet meeting, but councillors then heard that the Government’s funding settlement was slightly higher than expected. They agreed to maintain the current level of spending, with a budget of £1.45 million for 2024-25.

However, the county council has no statutory responsibility for housing and the homeless, which come under the work of district councils, and has said it will continue discussions with the districts over long-term funding of the homelessness support services.

The Cabinet meeting also agreed to spend an extra £1.5 million on road maintenance work to prevent potholes. The money will be used for regular drainage works to stop potholes forming after heavy rain.

Devon's Cabinet member for finance Phil Twiss told councillors: "The final Government settlement was announced after our draft budget was published so it is pleasing to be able to include some extra spending.

"We've been talking to our district council colleagues and listening to what our budget scrutiny committees at Devon County Council have told us over the past month.

"We've also held formal consultation meetings with representatives from business, the trade unions and the voluntary sector, taking on board their priorities.

"Councillors' postbags regularly include complaints from motorists about potholes on our roads and it is important that - when there is some extra money available - we do our best to tackle the problem.

"We also recognise the work that district councils and organisations like the YMCA do to make life a little easier for some of the homeless and I am delighted we are able to continue to help with a full grant."

The full council will meet on Thursday (February 15) to finalise the budget for 2024/25.

It includes above inflation increases in spending on Devon’s vulnerable children and adults with a 10.4 per cent increase in the revenue budget for children’s services, a six per cent rise in adult services and 4.7 per cent extra for climate change, environment and transport.

Reductions in other departmental spending and increased income will mean an overall rise of 6.3 per cent in the budget for next with a total spend of over £743 million.