In recent weeks, the government has made a number of funding announcements which will benefit Totnes and South Devon in various ways. These include additional funding for local councils, the fire authority and police force as well as focused support to tackle homelessness and rejuvenate selected local high streets.
Funding for councils in Devon is being boosted by 4.6% as part of the government’s commitment to level up local services across the country and give them the resources they need to support communities as we recover from the pandemic.
Authorities in England will receive a share of £51.2billion in local government funding in 2021/22 – up by £2.2billion on 2020/21 including a £1 billion increase in social care funding. This is in addition to the additional grant funding given to local authorities to cover costs relating to the pandemic and to help families facing hardship with their council tax bills.
Devon County Council will receive £620.99 million, an increase of £31.17 (5.3%).
South Hams District Council will receive £10.43 million, an increase of £0.25 million (2.5%).
Torbay Council will receive £133.54 million, an increase of £6.29 million (4.9%)
Devon and Somerset Fire Authority will receive £79.75 million, an increase of £2.16 million (2.8%).
Local people now have a stronger voice on both council tax rises and spending, with a referendum being required if councils propose raising council tax by over 2% or increasing spending on adult social care by over 3%. This strikes a balance between addressing pressure on services and giving council taxpayers the final say on excessive increases.
Policing will receive funding of up to £15.8 billion in 2021/2022, an increase of £636 million on last year. This includes over £400 million to recruit 20,000 extra police officers by 2023 as well as funding to enable police to tackle serious violence and increase the number of specialist officers tackling terrorism and serious organised crime.
Devon and Cornwall Police will receive an increase of up to £18.7 million, bringing the total funding to over £356 million with 141 new officers to be recruited. The government has also provided £30 million to help forces step up coronavirus enforcement and has reimbursed forces for all additional PPE purchased between March and July.
The government has announced £310 million in funding will be given to councils to tackle homelessness in 2021/2022. Homelessness Prevention Grants will target areas with high numbers of homeless people, those at risk of homelessness or those living in temporary accommodation in order to help them rebuild their lives.
Locally, South Hams District Council will receive £169,191 and Torbay Council will receive £745,579 which can be used to offer financial support for people to find a new home, to work with landlords to prevent evictions or to provide temporary accommodation to ensure families have a roof over their head.
This funding is part of an overall investment of over £750 million to tackle homelessness and rough sleeping next year, building on the ongoing Everyone In campaign which is protecting thousands of lives during the pandemic by housing rough sleepers.
High street funding
High streets across the country are set to be transformed thanks to up to £830 million of government funding, delivering opportunities and prosperity to local communities.
Torbay is one of the areas to benefit, having been awarded £13.36 million via the Future High Streets Fund to transform Paignton high street into a vibrant hub for future generations. This will have a huge impact on the local area and its residents, rejuvenating the high street and supporting established businesses while also creating jobs and attracting greater levels of investment. This is a good reminder that the South West is not being overlooked!