Connect Event: A devolution deal for Devon

What is in the Devolution Deal, and why will it benefit Devon’s Communities?

Government has published proposals for a ground-breaking Devolution Deal for Devon and Torbay which will transfer of range of powers and funding from national to local government control.

Within the deal, there are opportunities to work towards a range of benefits for Devon’s communities, including but not limited to, addressing the shortage of affordable housing, investment in skills and local businesses, and improved public transport.

To deliver a deal, a new Combined County Authority will be created. This will provide joint governance between Devon County Council and Torbay Council, and enable local decision-making to take place, rather than at Westminster.

A public consultation is underway between 12 February and 24 March, seeking your views on the proposal to create a Combined County Authority for Devon and Torbay.

To aid Parish and Town Councils understanding of the Devolution Deal, and how it will benefit our communities, we are delighted to be welcoming Devon County Council who will explain what powers and funding are included in the deal, and how the deal will be governed through a new Combined County Authority.

You will have opportunities to ask questions and share your views. We encourage as many parish and town councils as possible to take part, and your engagement will help inform DALC’s own response to the consultation.

Read more about the Devolution Deal for Devon and Torbay

This is a free online event, open to councillors and officers.

Register for the meeting here.  

If you are unable to attend this event, other events in your area may be available, please contact devontorbaydeal@torbay.gov.uk with details of your location and they will let you know about other events that may be available in your area.

Local Nature Recovery Strategy – Update and Connect Event

This year will see the publication of the Devon Local Nature Recovery Strategy (LNRS for short), an important resource for all those working to make improvements for nature

Local Nature Recovery Strategies are a statutory requirement for principal authorities and are taking place right across England. This new approach was launched by Defra in June 2023, to set priorities for nature at a local level.

A team of experts, led by Devon County Council’s Environment Team, are currently bringing together all the data on Devon’s habitats and species to create a map of important wildlife areas and action priority areas. The LNRS will support communities in their actions to protect and enhance Devon’s land and marine environments, and the benefits we gain from them, such as health, access and learning.

Information in the Strategy will be tailored so that it is relevant and accessible to different users including communities, who will be able to use this information to learn about the important habitats and species in their area, and to make decisions about what to focus on, in their efforts to support nature.

The Communities Leads for the Devon LNRS, Jo Pullin and Bridie Kennerley are looking for interested people to join a small focus group which will be a key part of developing the communities section of the Strategy. Email jo.devonnature@gmail.com or bridie.devonnature@gmail.com if you would like to be part of this focus group.

Find out more about the LNRS, watch the introduction video, and follow developments here.


Connect Event: Supporting nature recovery through the management of amenity green spaces

Our last Connect Event, held in early December, focused on the Local Nature Recovery Strategy and how communities can support nature recovery through the management of amenity green spaces. This was an excellent event, very well attended and with great feedback. We were delighted to welcome Damian, Bridie and Jo, who introduced the concept of LNRS and what is trying to be achieved. Participants then engaged in breakout sessions to explore what greenspaces they managed, how they managed them, and what opportunities there were for delivering greater nature benefits in future and opportunities for collaboration.


Wild About Devon – Communities Forum

This FREE event in February is a collaboration between Devon Wildlife Trust, Wild About Devon and CAG Devon. Join them for a day of inspiration in Okehampton to:

  • hear about the Devon Local Nature Recovery Strategy
  • take part in thought-provoking discussions to ignite change
  • find out how we can help you take action for wildlife
  • meet Devon Wildlife Trust’s first ‘Wilder Community’ Group who will share their journey
  • learn about the support available for community groups
  • develop your ideas and hear from the Bradninch Group who are striving for biodiversity and resilience

Refreshments will provided, although attendees will need to bring their own lunch.

Saturday 3 February, The Ockment Centre, Okehampton, 10am – 4pm. Free.

Register here for your place.

A Devolution Deal for Devon – catch up on our recent Connect Event!

A Devolution Deal for Devon – catch up on our recent connect event, what’s coming next and how these events can help you stay informed!

Our most recent Connect Event explored a Devolution Deal for Devon and how a deal with central government could benefit Devon’s communities.  We heard from Programme Manager, Phill Adams, Devon County Council, who updated us on the current status of a Deal, as Devon was one of 9 areas invited to take part in the Government’s ‘levelling up’ programme.

Participants were able to ask questions and discuss the powers and funding likely to come from a Deal, and how a Deal will be governed locally through a Combined County Authority.

Please note: A Government offer of a Devolution Deal for Devon is expected soon.  There will be a statutory public consultation period following the announcement.  When the consultation is available, information will be shared widely, with all parish and town councils invited to respond.

Watch the event below to catch up!

Connect Events

Our Connect Events are designed to foster information sharing and collaboration between councils, DALC, and other agencies, as part of our commitment to member engagement, a cornerstone of DALC’s mission. Whilst these events are still in their infancy, we are already receiving positive feedback from participants. Catch up on all our upcoming Connect Events, and any that you might have missed.

If there is any event that you would like us to explore, please contact us to let us know!

Register for our next Connect Event exploring nature recovery

Join us for an informative and collaborative event where we will learn about Devon’s Local Nature Recovery Strategy and explore the opportunities for supporting nature recovery through management of amenity greenspace.

The quality of our natural environment has long been a factor which contributes towards community well-being.  Restoring nature offers a range of benefits to communities through nature-based solutions, opportunities to improve well-being through nature connection, healthier living, boosting recreation and tourism, social cohesion through nature based projects, and contributing to a communities identify.

Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRS) were introduced in the Environment Act 2021.  They are strategic plans which guide and co-ordinate actions for nature recovery, aiming to address the decline of biodiversity, promote ecological resilience and create healthier and more sustainable environments.  Devon County Council  is the responsible body for Devon’s LNRS. However, the success of the LNRS requires support from a wide range of partners and stakeholders, including parish and town councils.

Parish and town councils are actively involved in the management of numerous greenspaces in their communities, such as recreation grounds and parks, burial grounds, village greens, flowers beds, verges and more. Many will already be managing at least part of these areas to benefit nature, which will contribute to achieving the objectives of the LNRS. This event aims to introduce the LNRS, explaining what it is about, what is is trying to achieve, the timeframe and opportunities for you to engage and contribute. The second part of the session will explore how we could adjust management of greenspaces to help nature recovery and identify opportunities for collaboration.

We are delighted to be welcoming Damian, Bridie and Jo, who are working with Devon County Council’s Environment Team to develop the LNRS. Bridie and Jo will brief participants on Devon’s LNRS and Damian will lead a workshop to explore opportunities for delivering nature benefits through the management of our greenspace.

Don’t miss this opportunity to be at the forefront of nature recovery initiatives, to engage with the LNRS, and network with fellow councils.  Let’s explore together any untapped potential of our greenspaces for a greener, healthier future.

This event is a free online event and open to councillors or officers from our member councils.  Register for our Connect Event on 7 December, at 6pm.

About DALC’s Connect Events

Our Connect Events are instrumental in bringing Councils together; to connect to DALC, to connect with each other, and to connect with other agencies whose work impacts our communities.

A primary goal of our events is to foster information sharing and collaboration. We want to create a space where councils can engage in open and constructive discussions, receive timely information, and to pool our collective wisdom so DALC can effectively represent its membership, and help shape local policy which supports our communities. 

We welcome all councils to participate in these events – where collaboration flourishes, engagement thrives, information flows, and our network strengthens.

See recordings of past Connect Events:

 

Connect Event: Introduction to Devon Local Nature Recovery Strategy and supporting nature recovery with amenity greenspace management

The quality of our natural environment has long been a factor which contributes towards community well-being.

Restoring nature offers a range of benefits to communities through nature-based solutions, opportunities to improve well-being through nature connection, healthier living, boosting recreation and tourism, social cohesion through nature based projects, and contributing to a communities identify.

The quality of our natural environment has long been a factor which contributes towards community well-being.  Restoring nature offers a range of benefits to communities through nature-based solutions, opportunities to improve well-being through nature connection, healthier living, boosting recreation and tourism, social cohesion through nature based projects, and contributing to a communities identify.

Local Nature Recovery Strategies (LNRS) were introduced in the Environment Act 2021.  They are strategic plans which guide and co-ordinate actions for nature recovery, aiming to address the decline of biodiversity, promote ecological resilience and create healthier and more sustainable environments.  Devon County Council  is the responsible body for Devon’s LNRS. However, the success of the LNRS requires support from a wide range of partners and stakeholders, including parish and town councils.

Parish and town councils are actively involved in the management of numerous greenspaces in their communities, such as recreation grounds and parks, burial grounds, village greens, flowers beds, verges and more. Many will already be managing at least part of these areas to benefit nature, which will contribute to achieving the objectives of the LNRS. This event aims to introduce the LNRS, explaining what it is about, what it is trying to achieve, the timeframe and opportunities for you to engage and contribute. The second part of the session will explore how we could adjust management of greenspaces to help nature recovery and identify opportunities for collaboration.

We are delighted to be welcoming Damian, Bridie and Jo, who are working with Devon County Council’s Environment Team to develop the LNRS. Bridie and Jo will brief participants on Devon’s LNRS and Damian will lead a workshop to explore opportunities for delivering nature benefits through the management of our greenspace.

Don’t miss this opportunity to be at the forefront of nature recovery initiatives, to engage with the LNRS, and network with fellow councils.  Let’s explore together any untapped potential of our greenspaces for a greener, healthier future.

This event is a free online event and open to councillors or officers from our member councils.

Register to attend our Connect Event on 7 December.

Connect Event: A devolution deal for Devon

What is in the Devolution Deal, and why will it benefit Devon’s Communities?

Devolution is a transfer of powers and funding from national to local government.  They are important because they facilitate decision-making closer to people, communities, and businesses.  Without them, decisions continue to be made in Westminster. 

In 2022, Devon was one of nine areas invited to take part in the governments ‘levelling up’ programme, and outline approval was given for a Devon-wide devolution deal.  A deal would not change democratic structures across the area, or require an elected Mayor, but would provide new powers providing flexibility and freedom to serve our communities more effectively.  

Since then, local authority partners and government officers have been working to prepare a final deal.  But what does the deal contain?  How will it benefit our communities?  

We’ll be hearing from Phill Adams, Programme Lead for the Devolution Deal, who will update us on the current status of the deal, what powers and funding will be included, and proposals for how the deal will be governed locally*.  

You will have opportunities to ask questions and share your views.  

This is a free online event, open to councillors and officers. To join, please register here 

*The final deal, once agreed with government, will be subject to a public consultation period.  A final deal is expected soon.  Depending on the status of the deal at the time of this event, we may be able to explore some of the consultation questions. 

Introducing our Connect Events

Engaging with member councils is a cornerstone of DALC’s mission. We are delighted to be introducing ‘Connect Events’ which will be instrumental in bringing councils together; to connect with DALC, to connect with each other, and to connect with other agencies whose work impacts our communities.

A primary goal of these events is to foster information sharing and collaboration.  We want to create a space where councils can engage in open and constructive discussions, receive timely information, and to pool our collective wisdom so DALC can effectively represent its membership, and help shape local policy which supports our communities. 

 Our connect events will provide a valuable source of knowledge and updates for councils.  In a frequently changing world, access to information is important for councils to make informed decisions.  We want our connect events to provide a direct channel for councils to stay up to date with the latest developments. 

 The connect events are also about building relationships too.  Councils, with their own unique experiences, can learn from one another, share insights, and build connections – with each other and hopefully other agencies too. 

 As we embark on this journey, we invite all councils to participate actively in these events – where collaboration flourishes, engagement thrives, information flows, and our network strengthens. 


Upcoming Connect Events:

Tackling Devon’s housing crisis: Learn more about the Devon Housing Commission 

It is no secret that Devon is in the grip of a housing crisis.  DALC has heard from numerous parishes about the rise of second home ownership, increasing short-term rental accommodation, and the lack of social and affordable housing in communities. Join this session to hear from Lord Richard Best, Chairman of the Housing Commission that has been established by the Devon Housing Task Force to tackle the crisis.  

Wednesday 25 October, 10am, on Zoom. This is a free online event, read more and register here.

A Devolution Deal for Devon: What is in the Devolution Deal, and why will it benefit Devon’s communities?

Devolution is a transfer of powers and funding from national to local government, and is important because they facilitate decision-making closer to people, communities and businesses. Since 2022, local authority partners and government officers have been working to prepare a final deal for Devon. But what does the deal contain? How will it benefit our communities? Hear from Phill Adams, Programme Lead for the Devolution Deal on the current status of the deal, what powers and funding will be included, and proposals for how the deal will be governed locally.

Thursday 9 November, 10am, on Zoom. This is a free online event, read more and register here.


Read more

Councils recently came together at our AGM; catch up with the proceedings, and take the chance to have your say about what matters to you and your council including what other topics you might be interested in exploring through our Connect Events

Connect Event: Tackling Devon’s Housing Crisis

Join the first of our Connect Events to learn more about the Devon Housing Commission and its work on tackling the Devon housing crisis which impacts so many of our communities.

It is no secret that Devon is in the grip of a housing crisis.  DALC has heard from numerous parishes about the rise of second home ownership, increasing short-term rental accommodation, and the lack of social and affordable housing in communities.  

Our broken housing market has resulted in a shortage of appropriate and affordable homes which is having an impact on people’s health, the economy, and social cohesion.  

Earlier this year, a new Housing Commission was established by the Devon Housing Task Force – a partnership of Devon’s local authorities and supported by the University of Exeter.  The Commission will be developing recommendations to address the broken housing market – working with politicians and housing experts to represent the housing challenges and opportunities that our county experiences.  The commission will be taking evidence from communities across Devon. 

At this event you will be hear from Lord Richard Best, Chairman of the Housing Commission and widely experienced expert in housing issues. You will gain insight into the work of the commission and have opportunities to ask questions and share your views. 

This event is a free online event and open to councillors or officers from our member councils.  To join please register here*

*Joining details will be sent directly to you when you register, please keep hold of them to join the event!


About our speaker: Lord Richard Best

Richard Best was President of the LGA 2006-2015 and is a Vice president today. He is an Independent ‘crossbencher’ in the House of Lords specialising in housing. He has successfully sponsored six Private Members Bills. He has chaired commissions on rural housing, affordable housing, healthy cities and housing for Northern Ireland. Richard is also currently Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on housing and care for older people.