MID Devon urgently needs to find more than half-a-million pounds for its new budget after councillors rejected two sources of income.

At a lengthy and eventful full district council meeting on Wednesday, February 22, a new business plan for the authority’s controversial housing development company, 3Rivers, was rejected.

The expected interest generated from loans to the company – whose future is now in serious doubt – is therefore missing from the budget, meaning the council is £500,000 short, according to deputy chief executive Andrew Jarrett.

It is also short of an additional £120,000 of revenue after members paused planned hikes to car parking charges, following a public outcry.

Some charges, including annual allocated permits, were planned to more than double.

As a result of the decisions and the financial implications, councillors decided not to vote on the proposed 2023/24 budget.

Some also didn’t want to because the budget papers had been submitted without five working days’ notice.

An emergency meeting will now be scheduled, in which savings or cuts totalling around £620,000 will need to be agreed. Councils must legally set balanced budgets by Saturday, March 11.

However, councillors did vote to put up council tax by 2.99 per cent – something that has to be agreed by the end of this month so that bills can go to residents in time.

The rise is equivalent to an extra £6.56 per year for a band D property, taking their annual contributions to Mid Devon up to £225.40.

Together with other increases to Devon County Council, fire, police, and town and parish councils, band D households in Mid Devon will be paying out £2,295.32 next year – an increase of £109.73.

Councillors now quickly need to finalise what taxpayers will be paying for in Mid Devon over the year ahead.