Devon and Torbay devolution deal announced

By Andrew Vaux | 25 January 2024

The Government has announced details of a new devolution deal for Devon CC and Torbay Council.

If agreed, after a consultation with residents, the move will create a new Devon and Torbay Combined County Authority (CCA).

The new body will receive £14.8m from the Shared Prosperity Fund over three years, as well as £16m in new capital funding to support housing and net zero priorities; and will have greater collaboration with Homes England to ‘reduce the barriers to affordable housing delivery’.

Adult education functions and the core adult education budget will be devolved to the new body. Subject to approval from the transport secretary, Devon and Torbay will also be able to introduce bus franchising and get control of some local transport functions.

Instead of adopting a mayor, the councils will each appoint three members to the CCA, including one lead member each. One of these lead members will be the chair of the board with the position rotating every two years. There’ll be four non-constituent members drawn from districts in Devon as well as two associate members representing businesses and the education sector.

Devon CC leader John Hart said: ‘This proposed devolution deal will enable us to tackle real challenges, such as the shortage of affordable housing, and a need for more investment to support local businesses; and will bring new training and re-training opportunities, increasing productivity and pay. 

‘This is just the beginning of new opportunities that we can build on.’

Torbay leader David Thomas added: ‘With us having control over the decision making and the funds to go with it, this will really help ensure that we can tackle local issues that impact those who live and work in Torbay and Devon. With pockets of deprivation across both local authority areas, being able to tackle our priorities like improving skills, supporting our residents to gain the right employment, and providing the right joined-up transport links will really benefit everyone.

‘I’m really looking forward to our closer working relationship with Devon, and progressing our plans proposed in this deal.’

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