DEVON County Council (DCC) have agreed a 4.99 per cent increase in council tax for the coming financial year.

It comprises 2.99 per cent for general services with an extra two per cent for adult care.

It means an extra £1.56 a week for the average Band D householder.

There will be increases of 10.4 per cent in spending on children’s services, six per cent on adult services and 4.7 per cent on climate change, environment and transport.

Councillors also agreed an extra £1.5 million to boost regular road drainage since the target budget was set last month to tackle the increase in potholes caused by this winter’s heavy rainfall.

There will also be £716,000 extra to bring the homelessness budget back up to £1.45 million to support the work of district councils and homeless organisations for another year.

Devon’s revenue spending on services will increase from just under £700 million to £743 million in 2024/25 - an overall rise of 6.3 per cent in spending.

In addition, councillors approved a capital budget of over £155 million for investment in infrastructure such as schools and roads.

The council tax for an average Band D home will rise by £81.54 to £1,715.67 – an extra £1.56 a week.

The budget was approved by 34 votes to 14.

Council leader John Hart said: ‘This is a well-constructed budget increasing expenditure for adults and children and looking after the old, the young and the vulnerable who account for almost four fifths of the budget.

‘We have a finite amount of money to spend and we have to allocate it to protect those most in need. But we will ensure that we get the best possible value from every pound we spend on behalf of our residents.

‘This budget also recognises the concerns that people have about the increase in potholes caused by the very wet winter.’

Cabinet member for finance, Phil Twiss, said: ‘Local government faces significant challenges – despite the government increasing local councils’ spending power – where demand outstrips supply.

‘Delivering this budget will not be easy but we have a senior leadership team working together, as one council, ready to meet these challenges. All things considered, this is a good budget for Devon.

‘Increasing council tax bills at a time of rising prices and strain on household budgets is not a decision that we have taken lightly.

‘However, demand for our services and the need to protect the most vulnerable means we have no choice but to propose an increase of 4.99 per cent for next year.’

The budget includes savings, alternative funding and additional income of £49.6 million.