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An extra £3 million has been put aside to help vulnerable children in the county. The increase in spending will go to support children in care and children on a Child Protection Plan. In March 2009 there were 539 children in care here in Devon. This is projected to have risen to 625 by March 2010. The number of children subject to a child protection plan is set to rise by a third from 303 in March 2009 to 400 in March 2010.
Devon County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Health and Wellbeing, Andrea Davis, said: “Protecting our most vulnerable children is the most important job with which we are entrusted. I believe we have to run our services as efficiently and cost effectively as possible. But it is absolutely right that we should be increasing spending in vital areas like this where children’s lives are literally at stake.”
Leader John Hart added: “…it is our absolute duty to protect our most vulnerable children and I am resolute in defending an increase in spending to do that. I am however very well aware of the fragile nature of the recovery in Devon and nationally and we will not be asking the county’s council taxpayers for a penny more than is necessary. This may mean, to keep the council tax rise to a sensible level, we may have to make savings to services which are less vital than child protection but those are the tough decisions we are having to take.”