Council brings its budget in on target for 18th consecutive year

PUBLISHED: 14:11 30 June 2009 | UPDATED: 09:34 18 June 2010

DEVON County Council has brought its budget in on target for the 18th consecutive year, but Council Leader John Hart, warned of increasing financial pressure over the coming year and warned all council departments to keep a close check on spending.

DEVON County Council has brought its budget in on target for the 18th consecutive year, but Council Leader John Hart, warned of "increasing financial pressure" over the coming year and warned all council departments to keep a close check on spending.

The Council announced its 2009/10 budget outturn in a report to the first meeting of the new County Council Cabinet yesterday.

Cabinet Members congratulated staff on achieving this despite the severe and unexpected economic challenges during the year.

Helping the Council to maintain its strong financial position was its policy of avoiding Icelandic banks and other controversial investments.

Looking ahead, officers warned that there would no longer be the safety net of surplus income from council investments in the coming year. Reserves had also fallen and there was a need to maintain these at the current level to help manage any future emergencies.

"There is no doubt the County Council has an excellent and enviable track record in terms of its financial management," said Councillor Hart.

"We have enjoyed a good period but tougher times lay ahead and we need to act now to keep spending tight.

"Over the next 12 months we will need to call on all our skills and experience to keep on providing the best possible local services whilst making sure we balance the books.

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