Torridge District Council launch new draft Strategic Plan for Public Consultation - Closes 14th November
A draft strategic plan has been voted through by Torridge Councillors that sets out the vision and ambitions of the Council and what it hopes to achieve over the next five years through to 2028. Following the vote at Full Council the draft plan will now be published for public consultation for six weeks before being finalised in December.
The consultation is the next step in a process which began in July with a councillor workshop where ward members shared their wish lists for the district and debated and prioritised themes. The task has since been taken forward by the council's leadership, lead members, and senior officers who took the raw output from the earlier meetings, refining the information, to produce a list of high level deliverable actions. Councillors incorporated a previous decision to group the actions under the existing headline themes of the Local Economy, Communities Health and Housing, Our Environment Our Future, and Our Council.
The plan is likely to have even greater significance this time around as Torridge has been identified as one of twenty Local Authority Areas across England to be invited to form a Levelling up Partnership with Government. The details of this initiative are still emerging but around £400m in total will be available with exact allocations for each authority yet to be announced. Torridge Councillors have seen this as an opportunity to align actions under the Strategic Plan with the governments emerging policy and to put forward broad workstreams and project areas that might be supported through grants from the partnership.
Joint working will also continue to be an important aspect of the plan with a joint local plan with North Devon Council and supporting the economy through joint funding of North Devon Plus highlighted as current examples. With an eye on future collaboration opportunities both councils are now members of the recently formed Northern Devon Futures, a strategic partnership of multiple organisations working together with the aim of improving the lives of everyone living and working in the wider northern Devon area. The Torridge Strategic Plan has also been shaped to compliment the Northern Devon Economic Strategy, which is also being refreshed in the coming months and will focus on growth and opportunity where the previous version was understandably focused on recovery following the Covid Pandemic.
The consultation will be open to all Torridge residents and will be shared with Town and Parish Councils, businesses, voluntary organisations and other partners for comment. The consultation can be accessed on the Torridge website at www.torridge.gov.uk/strategicplan and will remain open until 14th November 2023. A final version of the plan will be agreed during a meeting of the Full Council in December.
Councillor Ken James - Leader of Torridge District Council said:
"This is a very exciting opportunity for the area and having a clear vision, allowing us to tap into additional funding, will be vital to improving so many aspects of people's lives in Torridge, particularly for our younger generation. Better educational outcomes, an improved economy and earning potential, improved health provision and access to affordable housing will be our goals and I'm optimistic that all of this work will be a forerunner to a much more positive outlook for the region, our residents and businesses."
03 October 2023