Have your say on your town’s future.


A new consultation into the proposed creation of new town councils in Torbay is now open. But before you respond you’re being encouraged to consider the future of the area you live in and fully explore what town councils could mean for you and your community.

Torbay Council’s proposing to create new town councils in Torquay and Paignton – that’s in addition to the existing Brixham Town Council. Across the country town councils play a big part in promoting real community engagement and provide local services that matter to their communities.Like in other areas, rising costs of statutory services combined with Government cuts will mean that Torbay Council will have to stop providing some services completely and dramatically reduce others.

The introduction of town councils for Paignton and Torquay would generate between £1.3 and £1.8m each year, which would help protect the services you value and enable communities to get more involved in decision making at a local level. Town councils could support services such as parks, toilets and events, but statutory services, such as social care, education or housing would remain with Torbay Council.

Leader of the Council, Steve Darling, said: “Town Councils could give local people more say and control over how services in their area are delivered, as well as helping to protect services that Torbay Council will no longer be able to afford. Town councils can bring people together – encouraging individuals and groups to work with each other to improve their communities.“If town councils are created, the average Band D household would pay a maximum of £1.73 extra per week through their council tax, but over 90% of this will be spent directly on the services you value the most in your town – services which we may have to stop providing in the future.

“Before you make your mind up, please weigh up all the options and consider the future of services in your area. Watch our videos, meet us at our roadshows and ask us questions.”

The consultation is now live and will be running until 25 October. During this time we will be sharing lots of information in a number of ways, including through social media posts, your questions will be answered in our Torbay Questions (TQs) Facebook Live Panels and there’ll be roadshows in each town. All of this information is to help you explore and understand what town councils really mean for you and your community.

When you feel you have all the information you need please respond to the Community Governance Review Consultation questionnaire at www.torbay.gov.uk/council/consultations/community-governance-review-consultation/

You can find more about the proposals for town councils, along with some frequently asked questions and our latest social media videos at www.torbay.gov.uk/council/new-town-councils/. Our latest video explaining what town councils could mean for you can also be found at https://youtu.be/ioaqNdLJ-_s


Apart from five years studying in Oxford I’ve lived most of my life in London where for many years I was Head of English in a prestigious girls’ school, but since taking early retirement and heading West to be nearer to my two daughters - settling in Torbay with my wife, Anna, in 2011 - I’ve worked in the voluntary sector. I took on the role of Service Provider, for example, promoting the Red Cross Torbay Navigators Project, while now I’m a Trustee and part of the Media Team for our local Healthwatch. I’m a governor at Torquay Academy, too, giving me the chance to stay up to date with what’s happening in the world of education. Other interests, aside from friends and family, include art and art history, reading - from contemporary fiction and poetry to Elizabethan/Jacobean literature - history, politics, cooking, walking, and music, in particular Bob Dylan, the blues, and early Elvis. I love writing, too, with one novel published so far – Elvis in Wonderland – and another, Who’s There?, that still needs plenty of work!