What does the General Election in July mean to Devon and Torbay’s plans for a Combined County Authority?

The Government has announced that there will be a General Election on Thursday 4 July.

The Prime Minister has formally asked the King to “dissolve” Parliament – the official term for closing it ahead of an election. This will happen on Thursday 30 May.

Devon County Council and Torbay Council formally submitted a proposal to Government at the beginning of this month to create a Combined County Authority (CCA) to deliver the devolution deal in Devon and Torbay.

We had expected that Government would make the legislative regulations to create the CCA over the summer months, with a view to the Devon and Torbay CCA holding its first meeting in the Autumn.

But the General Election in July potentially changes that timetable.

The Councils are now jointly seeking clarity from Government officials on how the legislative process for setting up the Devon and Torbay Combined County Authority will be affected following the announcement of the General Election.

Torbay Council and Devon County Council remain committed to bringing forward our agreed devolution arrangement as soon as possible, and we collectively await clarity from Government officials.

We have already been in touch with Government colleagues within DLUHC (Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities) to secure the £16m capital investment agreed with Government.

The Leader of Torbay Council, the nominated District Council Leader, and the Leader of Devon Council Council unanimously approved 16 excellent projects this week which will be recommended to the County Council as the accountable body.

These schemes span housing, skills, business support and green infrastructure and can have an immediate impact on our local economy.

There would be schemes in each district area with the potential to bring forward affordable homes, decarbonise existing properties, support more than 1000 learners in green and net zero skills and creation of jobs and apprenticeships.

Working with District Councils, Dartmoor National Park, Exmoor National Park and the Devon Association of Local Councils we are progressing the establishment of the Team Devon Joint Committee. This will support joint working on a number of areas including economic development.

Councillors will be updated as soon as the Councils receive further information regarding the legislative process for setting up the Devon and Torbay CCA.