County Deal for Devon, Plymouth and Torbay is given Government go-ahead

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County Deal for Devon, Plymouth and Torbay is given Government go-ahead

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The Government have backed a Devon, Plymouth and Torbay County Deal aimed at delivering on key and social priorities for the area. 

A spokesperson for Devon County Council said "The announcement by Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove commits the Government to working with a strong partnership of councils on the detail of a deal as part of the Government’s levelling up policy.

When finalised, it’s hoped the County Deal with Government will provide councils across Devon, Plymouth and Torbay with extra powers and influence to improve economic and social conditions in all the communities they serve.

Councils have identified skills and training, affordable housing, health and social care, and transport and digital connectivity as priorities to help tackle inequality and poor social mobility.

Alongside these challenges are opportunities for clean economic growth which it is hoped an eventual deal with Government will help realise."

Cllr John Hart, Leader of Devon County Council, said:

“I warmly welcome today’s announcement. This is a ground-breaking opportunity for our councils working as a strong team to partner with Government on a deal that’s right for all our communities and best for business.

“Our councils are ambitious to spread opportunity and prosperity to all parts of Devon, Plymouth and Torbay, to end deep-rooted inequalities in our cities, towns, rural and coastal communities, and fulfil the huge potential for clean economic growth. Working with Government we have within our grasp the opportunity to transform the future for people and communities right across Devon.

“We want to drive up skills and training, create many more opportunities for our young people to live and work in our wonderful county. We want to deliver more affordable homes that meet the needs of local people and capitalise on our world-leading expertise in marine technologies and climate change research.

“The photonics and microelectronics sector in Torbay, ambitious joint initiatives such as the Plymouth and South Devon Freeport and Exeter University’s proposed Net Zero Plus Innovation Hub for the South West are excellent examples of enterprise and innovation we must build on.

“It is vital that through this Deal with Government we support the ambitions of areas such as North Devon, Teignbridge and Torridge to drive up prosperity for all residents.

“This is the task ahead and one we will want to achieve in close collaboration with our partners in the health sector, in business, universities and colleges, towns and parishes, housing associations and national parks. There is real strength in our unity and by working together we can achieve much for the people of Devon, Plymouth and Torbay.” 


Cllr Judy Pearce, Leader of South Hams District Council said:

“During the COVID-19 pandemic we have greatly expanded the close working relationship we already enjoyed with our local authority neighbours.  This has demonstrated just how effective we can be as a Devon-wide team when we all pull together.  I welcome the opportunity we have now to negotiate this Devon wide County deal, and I see it as a way for us to further develop those working relationships for the benefit of all our residents and businesses. Furthermore, we may be a small rural and coastal District but South Hams has big ambitions for the future.  A County Deal has the potential to help us deliver against our strategic priorities, including much needed affordable housing, more job opportunities, helping us tackle our climate change challenges and the huge potential provided by the Plymouth and South Devon Freeport.” 

Devon County Council stated, "Devon, Plymouth and Torbay County, Unitary and District councils view work on the Deal with Government as a natural and logical next step in a strong track record of partnership work across Devon and the South West. A Deal will provide opportunities for deeper collaboration with stakeholders such as universities, colleges, business, the voluntary, community and social enterprise sectors, National Parks, town and parish councils.

There is no requirement nor plan for local government reorganisation or elected Mayors. Council leaders want to avoid disruption to services and additional layers of bureaucracy. Instead, they are considering the establishment of a non-mayoral combined authority that would enable councils to work together strategically whilst respecting the sovereignty of their respective authorities."

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