Our ambition

We want Torbay and its residents to thrive.

We want Torbay to be a place where we have turned the tide on poverty and tackled inequalities; where our children and older people will have high aspirations and where there are quality jobs, good pay and affordable housing for our residents.

We want Torbay to be the premier resort in the UK, with a vibrant arts and cultural offer for our residents and visitors to enjoy; where our built and natural environment is celebrated and where we play our part in addressing the climate change emergency.

Our mission

We will be a Council that supports, enables and empowers its residents, our communities and our partnerships.

Our opportunities and challenges

Torbay can offer an unrivalled quality of life for individuals and families – its natural environment, clean air, climate, location, excellent schools, growing arts and cultural sector and wide range of outdoor activities means that Torbay can provide everyone with the opportunity to live a healthy and fulfilled life.

We need to make sure that everyone benefits from these opportunities whilst at the same time meeting the challenges that we and our communities face:

  • An ageing population
  • An unprecedented demand for services for children in need of safeguarding and the protection of care
  • The need for economic and housing growth
  • The climate change emergency
  • Substantial reductions in central government funding

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Working differently

At the Community Conference in September 2019, we started a different conversation with the community. We heard four very clear messages from our community. We recognise that people and communities want to be more involved in how we can work together to improve Torbay. We want to have better on-going conversations with individuals, groups and organisations to help us make Torbay thrive.

We will be a Council that supports, enables and empowers its residents, our communities and our partnerships. To do this, we commit to working differently:

There needs to be a change of culture in the Council and in communities.

We will embrace a spirit of cooperation and partnership with the people, businesses and organisations in Torbay and those outside Torbay which affect our lives. This will take a change
in attitude as well from those potential partners. If we change, we ask others to as well because partnerships cannot work without partners.

Trusted relationships with communities need to be built. 

This can only be done by us leading at both a strategic and local level with an open approach to the challenges that are faced. Strategically this will be done by the Cabinet being
prepared to talk and listen to anyone and everyone. At ward level our councillors will become community champions with support to help them build community level partnerships. We will
enable and empower our communities to design and deliver services and to support one another.

Communication with communities and individuals needs to improve.

This is a two-way challenge which we accept must be led by us in the early stages. We want to explore how we can embed partners and communities within the very heart of our
decision making. We are committed to continuing conversations with our communities.

Celebration of the Bay and its people need to be encouraged.

For too long we and our partners have talked up the problems and challenges and not provided the balance of the great opportunities of this area. We need people to want to live and
invest here. We must realistically put forward the many positive sides of Torbay, its opportunities and its people. From now on, we will celebrate Torbay together.

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Four visions

To deliver our ambition we have identified four visions, each with a number of priority areas.

Thriving people

The people of Torbay will have a good quality of life with access to excellent schools, affordable housing and great local amenities. We will promote good mental and physical health by  providing early help.

We will ensure that all activities of the Council are focused on turning the tide on poverty and that Torbay’s residents, young and old have high aspirations and the opportunity to reach their full potential. Our aim is to ensure that all our residents are active, healthy, safe, resilient and self-sufficient with good quality homes, which are affordable and meet their needs. They will have access to high quality employment opportunities whilst living in a community which is vibrant and attractive.

For those in need of extra support, there will be access to good quality children’s and adult social care.

We will create a whole community response to make Torbay a child-friendly and age-friendly place. One Torbay: Working for all of Torbay so that the people in our communities thrive.

We will:

Turn the tide on poverty
  • Protect and involve children and young people
  • Reduce levels of deprivation in the Bay
  • Improve the delivery, affordability and quality of housing
  • Make greater use of our natural assets and cultural offer
Have high aspirations for all of our residents
  • Support healthy, physically active lives for all
  • Promote good mental and physical health, reducing the occurrence of preventable illnesses
  • Reduce reliance on addictive substances
Build safer communities
  • Work with partners to tackle crime, including exploitation, and its effects
  • Work with partners to reduce offending and reoffending and its impacts
  • Work with partners to tackle domestic abuse and sexual violence and its effects

Thriving economy

Economic growth is essential if we are to turn the tide on poverty in Torbay. We will capitalise on Torbay’s strengths to create more opportunities for better paid jobs and stimulate economic growth to create change that benefits everyone who lives here.

We will achieve our economic potential and play our distinctive role in the national and international economy. We will be well-connected with skilled individuals, a diverse economy and higher quality, better paid jobs.

We will work to ensure that the local economy is sustainable so as to deliver long term future prosperity and an improved quality of life for all of our residents, especially those living in our most deprived areas. We want to achieve clean, green and inclusive growth.

Through our people, our businesses and our infrastructure, we will create a whole community response to drive forward clean, inclusive growth. One Torbay: Working with all of Torbay so that our economy thrives.

We will:

Create an environment in which businesses and jobs can grow and where we have a local economy which is successful and sustainable
  • Capitalise on the unique strengths of our economy
  • Focus on areas of significant deprivation
  • Build community wealth
  • Support the creation of University College South Devon
  • Close the educational attainment gap and broaden the skills base within the workforce
  • Protect and accelerate the development of employment space to accommodate business growth
Be the premier tourist resort in the UK
  • Regenerate and re-invent our town centres
  • Capitalise on our unique heritage

Tackling climate change

We recognise that environmental sustainability must influence everything we do. The benefits of taking action on climate change and protecting our environment (for instance for health, the economy, and our communities) means it must be part of our core approach.

Climate change is having major global and local impacts. We recognise we have a key role and opportunity to tackle the causes and effects of climate change in Torbay. We will play our part in working towards carbon neutrality and strengthening Torbay’s resilience to a changing climate.

We will protect and enhance our high quality built and natural environment safeguarding it for future generations. We have a role in bringing the bay together, leading by example and encouraging community pride in our wonderful environment.

We will work to reduce consumption and increase recycling. We will promote low carbon energy and work to improve poor air quality and reduce noise and emissions.

We will create a whole community response to protect our environment. One Torbay: Working for all of Torbay to tackle climate change.

We will:

Become a Carbon Neutral Council and work with others to create a carbon neutral community
  • Increase recycling rates
  • Reduce Torbay’s carbon footprint
  • Encourage a sustainably developed built environment
  • Implement re-wooding and rewilding
  • Address flooding risks
  • Improve communications and transport connectivity and sustainability

Council fit for the future

We will provide efficient and effective services and be open and transparent with our communities.

We will work collectively to ensure our long-term stability and the services that we legally have to provide, recognising that there will be difficult decisions to be made. We will be clear as to the services that we can provide and we will empower community capacity building. We will work to reduce the cost drivers of our high-cost services, deliver efficiencies and increase our income where possible.

We will fundamentally change the way in which we communicate and engage with all residents, including our young people. We will strengthen our relationships within the  community and across our partnerships, including ensuring that our plans align.

We will be an organisation that our communities can trust. One Council: Working for all of Torbay to enable our communities and create a Council is fit for the future.

We will:

Create a culture of partnership between the Council and communities
  • Use technology to drive change
  • Promote community resilience
  • Become an enabling Council

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Our Approach

Enable our communities

We will engage with our community on how they want to work with us to design and deliver services. We will use an asset based approach to build a framework around the community delivering and supporting services – One Torbay: Working for all Torbay. Our councillors will be community leaders, facilitators and advocates of the Council and the community.

Use reducing resources to best effect

We will continue to ensure that we are working to maximise efficiencies and that every pound and every hour of work is well spent. We will maximise our use of technology so that our residents can take control of when, how and where they consume our services. We will continue to seek innovative solutions such as delivering services with greater community support and through integrated working with partners. We will maximise our income generation opportunities. However, together we may need to find other ways of delivering services and may even need to stop providing some – but in these situations we will have first considered with the community all other options.

Reduce demand through prevention and innovation

We will build on our current approaches of working together to reduce demand for services. Multiagency teams will work within communities to deliver joined-up services and respond to the needs of those communities.

We will create an environment where our communities flourish with good physical and mental health with integrated services where people and families are supported in all aspects of their lives to prevent progression to the need for more intense care. We will work in partnership with the community and voluntary sector to build resilience and ensure they are equal partners on service design and delivery.

Prevention and early intervention will be a key component of all our services. In providing services which help to address needs earlier and aim to deal with the wider causes of all problems, we will improve outcomes for communities and individuals.

Integrated and joined up approach

We will work together with our communities and partners to address our challenges and work to achieve Torbay’s potential - One Torbay: Working for all Torbay.

We will continue be part of the Torbay Together partnership, recognising that no organisation can deliver for the community on its own. Torbay Together has developed a vision for the future growth of Torbay which creates wealth, provides opportunities and allows Torbay to contribute more fully to the achievement of a competitive, productive and proud UK economy.

We will also continue to be an active member of the Heart of the South West Joint Committee and the Emerging Greater South West proposals.

At a local level, we will continue to work with our wide range of partner organisations, both within the public sector such as the NHS and Police, the private sector and the community and voluntary sector to ensure we maximise the opportunities to deliver services together.

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Together we can

The Partnership has a vision of Torbay as a place of ambition, drive and opportunity, the tide is turning in Torbay and we are proud to be leading this.

We fundamentally want to do things differently, working with individuals, communities and partners.

Together we can….
Create One Torbay: Working for all Torbay.
Cllr Steve Darling
Councillor Steve Darling
Leader of Torbay Council

Councillor Darren Cowell
Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Finance

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