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Community and Corporate Plan

Read our long-term Community and Corporate Plan which sets out our vision, objectives and priorities.


Our Community and Corporate Plan sets out the Council’s vision, objectives and priorities.  It is a high-level document which provides the foundation for all that we do.  Despite everything that is fantastic about Torbay, we know that we face challenges and that some parts of the Bay suffer from nationally significant levels of poverty.  There is huge potential, and this Plan brings together the interlinked priorities we need to address to make Torbay a happy, healthy and prosperous place for our whole community.

Beneath the Community and Corporate Plan sit a range of other plans and strategies which together form the Council’s Policy Framework [1].  The Policy Framework provides a clear definition of what the Council is aiming to achieve – helping us to allocate our resources effectively and providing a framework against which we can measure our success.

The Cabinet is at the heart of the Council’s day-to-day decision making as we work towards the ambitions set by the Council.  To ensure a cohesive approach to decision making, the Cabinet agrees the Council Business Plan which sets out, against each theme of the Community and Corporate Plan, the priority actions which the Cabinet will take together with the milestones for delivering those actions.

The golden thread continues through the organisation, from strategic and operational strategies, plans and policies, into Service Plans within each Directorate and through to each member of staff’s annual appraisal.  This ensures that everyone within Torbay Council – whether their service is mentioned in this Plan or not – is working towards the same ambition.

Our Performance and Risk Management Frameworks are in place so that, across the organisation, we can be assured that we are delivering what we said we would do and putting in place mitigations if progress is not being made in a timely manner.  The Council is clear that there should be a continuous cycle of improvement so that we can demonstrate that we are providing value for money for the residents and businesses across Torbay.

The Community and Corporate Plan covers a twenty year period which will include a formal review after ten years, when we will assess the progress we are making and make any amendments to the direction we need to take.

[1] Adult Social Care Strategy; Community Engagement and Empowerment Strategy; Corporate Asset Management Plan; Corporate Capital Strategy; Corporate Parenting Strategy; Community and Corporate Plan; Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Strategy; Economic Growth Strategy; Housing Strategy; Gambling Act Policy/Statement of Principles; Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy; Licensing Policy; Local Transport Plan; Development Plan; Strategic Agreement between Torbay Council, One Devon Integrated Care Board and Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust; Treasury Management Strategy; and Resource Management and Waste Strategy.

The vision for Torbay

We want to see a healthy, happy and prosperous Torbay.

Torbay is a glorious part of Devon with an inspiring natural environment. We are a magnet for tourists and known as the English Riviera. We are home to globally significant technology businesses and have a rich leisure and cultural scene. 

We want to deliver for our people and our place. We know we have challenges, but we have high aspirations. By continuing to work closely with our communities and partners and capitalising on our strengths, we want make Torbay a great place to do business – a place where everyone is able to live their best life. 

A healthy, happy and prosperous Torbay for all.


To bring our vision to life, we have identified three strategic themes.  Within this Community and Corporate Plan we describe what each theme means to us and our communities, the priorities we will focus on and the outcomes we want to achieve.

Our strategic themes are:

  • Community and People
  • Pride in Place
  • Economic Growth

Our Mission and Approach

We will put our residents at the heart of everything we do. We will ensure a strong grip on finance, working with our communities and partners, to deliver a sustainable future. We will deliver quality services, improve our economy and protect and enhance our built and natural environments, so that we are all proud of our Bay.

In delivering our Community and Corporate Plan and in our day-to-day activity, we will work in the following ways.

Evidence based

We will focus on the evidence, balancing local knowledge and resident experience.  We want to ensure that we have a strong evidence base for identifying needs, setting common priorities and responding collaboratively.

Make the most of our assets

We will use our assets – across our place and our people – to the best advantage. 

Our towns sit on the beautiful Tor Bay, we are a magnet for tourism and host globally significant technology businesses, a wonderfully mild climate and an inspiring natural environment. 

Each town has its own identity, sense of place, assets and distinctiveness.  Coming together as Torbay gives us huge opportunities which we need to seize.

There are a vast number of community and voluntary groups in Torbay, both formal and informal, all trying to do their best for the communities they serve.  We want our communities to develop based on the strengths, potentials and assets that already exist across Torbay.

Working together

Putting our residents at the heart, we will recognise what is strong in our communities.  We will be open to ideas and always seek to understand what the community is asking for, rather than making assumptions based on existing ways of working.  We will seek out a range of different voices which are reflective of the community and create space for conversations to happen.

Working with the public, private and community and voluntary sectors, we will make sure that our partnership working is streamlined and efficient.  We will all know Torbay’s story and we will tell it with pride.

The Torbay Story is available online at including the work being undertaken across Torbay to make it a reality.

Efficient and enabling Council

We will provide efficient and effective services and be open and transparent with our communities.  Our regulatory functions will enable businesses and residents to prosper.  We will tell customers what to expect and keep them up to date along the way.

We will modernise, simplify and standardise how we work so we can support the communities of Torbay.  We will deliver the best outcomes for our customers, innovating and using technology to transform services.

Strong grip on finance

We will continue to work to reduce the cost drivers of our high-cost services, deliver efficiencies and increase the Council’s income where possible.  Ensuring the Council is financially sustainable, we will carefully manage our finances to deliver the services our community expects.

Community and People

We want people across Torbay to celebrate success and feel part of their community.

Torbay will be recognised as a child friendly place.  We want all residents, including our children and young people, to feel and be safe and to live well within their communities. 

Everyone will have access to support, information, advice and guidance so they can meet their aspirations. With the best possible education and training, people will be enabled to fulfil their potential.  We will support people to live independently.

Our communities will be encouraged and supported to bring about positive change for the good of Torbay.  People will have a better sense of ownership of the services and activities available to them.  We will minimise barriers for community service delivery whilst maintaining our duty of care and legal requirements. We will build strong working relationships with our community police. 

In delivering our Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy and our Children’s Continuous Improvement Plan, as a community and a Council we will hold high aspirations for our children and young people’s futures.  We will ensure the continuous improvement of our Children’s Services with a clear aspiration to deliver outstanding services so that our children and young people have better outcomes.

Working together with partner agencies, we want to bring about real, sustainable change for those in greatest need within our communities, with residents experiencing good mental health, being supported with their complex needs and ageing healthily.

In delivering our Adult Social Care Strategy we will see thriving communities where people can prosper.  Our residents will have a place to call home, in a community they can be a part of, while being empowered to achieve what matters most to them through the best care and support available.

Our Priorities

We will:

  • Ensure our town centres are safe and welcoming for all.
  • Keep children safe in their communities and provide safe environments for our young people to thrive in.
  • Ensure early intervention is effective and targeted.
  • Provide the best care and support available so that residents are empowered to achieve what matters most to them.
  • Provide clear signposting for those needing our help.
  • Support and encourage community action.
  • Improve wellbeing and reduce social isolation.

The outcomes we want to see

  • People feel safe in their local area, during the day and after dark.
  • Fewer children need to be cared for by the Council.
  • All residents are supported to live independent, healthy, active lives, without the need for long-term services.
  • Young people in receipt of services from children’s services are prepared for adulthood.
  • People with care and support needs feel empowered and can access good or outstanding quality and tailored care and support.
  • Carers are identified quickly and provided with the information, advice and support services they need.
  • People feel they belong to their local area.
  • Gaps in healthy life expectancy between affluent and deprived areas of Torbay are reduced.
  • People feel that their physical and mental wellbeing is as good as possible.

How we’ll measure progress

  • Number of Residents’ Satisfaction Survey respondents who feel very or fairly safe in their local area after dark and during the day (age weighted)
  • Rate per 10,000 children of cared for children
  • Differential in life expectancy in most deprived wards from least deprived ward
  • Percentage of the Torbay child population living in one of the 20% most deprived areas
  • Number of Residents’ Satisfaction Survey respondents who very or fairly strongly feel they belong to their local area (raw data)
  • Directly age standardised suicide rate per 100,000 (Torbay, Devonwide)

Links to the Policy Framework

  • Adult Social Care Strategy
  • Community Engagement and Empowerment Strategy
  • Corporate Parenting Strategy
  • Domestic Abuse and Sexual Violence Strategy
  • Housing Strategy
  • Gambling Action Policy/Statement of Principles
  • Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy (incorporating the Children’s Continuous Improvement Plan)
  • Licensing Policy
  • Strategic Agreement between Torbay Council, One Devon Integrated Care Board and Torbay and South Devon NHS Foundation Trust

Pride in Place

We will invest in our three towns to enable them to develop their own distinct identities and roles.  Using Torbay’s unified and complementary offer as a UNESCO Geopark and a premier marine and natural experience, we will attract, retain, and grow leading edge technology businesses.  We want Torbay to be a place where people of all ages want to live as well as visit.  A place where everyone benefits from and enjoys a premier resort experience.

There will be more good quality, affordable and permanent properties that people, including those who are vulnerable or care experienced, can call their home.  We will work with landlords and developers to maximise the use of suitable housing stock, including social housing, and create decent accommodation across Torbay.  We want this to be an even better place for people to live in whilst protecting our environment. 

In delivering our Housing Strategy, we will work to deliver a diverse choice of housing for our residents that meets every stage of life and lifestyle – homes that are safe, warm, fit for purpose and more environmentally friendly.  Where appropriate, we will consider proactive intervention in the housing market.  We will continue to protect homeless households and those threatened with homelessness, whilst putting an end to street sleeping. 

We will work to get the basics right, so that our town centres, seafronts and residential areas are clean, safe and well-maintained.  Alongside this we will also deliver an ambitious programme of investment across Torbay – improving the public realm, reshaping the town centres, increasing town centre living, improving connectivity – to bring confidence, employment and homes for our community.

We will celebrate and protect the places that make Torbay special, maximising the cultural, heritage and event opportunities for our residents and visitors alike.  Working in partnership we will continue to address the climate emergency so as to create a sustainable future.  Continuing to implement our Resource and Waste Management Strategy will see us working with our communities increase our recycling rate and reduce the amount of waste sent for energy recovery and disposal.

Our Priorities

We will:

  • Draw investment into our towns and breathe life into our town centres, partnering with the private sector to deliver major projects.
  • Maximise heritage and cultural opportunities for the enjoyment and benefit of residents and visitors.
  • Ensure the effective operation of SWISCo to have resources to reinvest in Torbay.
  • Deliver priority capital projects within the Council’s Capital Programme.
  • Improve the delivery, affordability and quality of housing (including housing standards) for residents in Torbay.
  • Improve the delivery of our planning service.
  • Protect and enhance our lived, built and natural environments, including our green spaces.

The outcomes we want to see

  • Enhanced high streets that attract long-term tenants and an increased number of visitors.
  • An enhanced and coherent culture, heritage and events offer with increased engagement and participation.
  • Increased customer satisfaction with our parks, green spaces and streets
  • More equitable access to warm, healthy, affordable homes for all people in Torbay
  • Younger, skilled people are attracted and retained to live and/or work in Torbay
  • Increased customer satisfaction with the Council’s planning service
  • Increased resident satisfaction with the local area

How we will measure progress

  • Delivery of town centre regeneration programmes
  • Net additional homes provided
  • Number of affordable homes delivered
  • Number of social rented housing available
  • Cultural participation
  • Percentage of people who are economically active in Torbay
  • Number of Resident Satisfaction Survey respondents who very or fairly strongly feel satisfied with their local area as a place to live (raw data)

Links to the Policy Framework

  • Community Engagement and Empowerment Strategy
  • Corporate Asset Management Plan
  • Corporate Capital Strategy
  • Economic Growth Strategy (incorporating the Tourism Strategy and Cultural Strategy)
  • Housing Strategy
  • Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy
  • Development Plan
  • Resource Management and Waste Strategy
  • Treasury Management Strategy

Economic Growth

We will attract, retain and grow our economic specialisms so we have growth which builds on our reputation.  There will be good employment and learning opportunities that enhance the potential for our residents and our communities.  Residents will be able to access those opportunities because of the improved connectivity to, from and within Torbay.

Torbay is looking to the future and reaching out to collaborate, attract more investment and make the most of the considerable assets and opportunities it has.  We will make the most of Government and private sector investment, with the voice of business being heard as we move forward with our plans.

We want to create the conditions for a strong and sustainable economy that supports a diverse mix of industries and jobs that inspire, providing equality of opportunity.  We will support businesses to flourish and grow as well as attracting new businesses to the Bay.  In addition, we will work with our stakeholders to ensure that roles in key sectors such as tourism and health and social care are viewed as positive opportunities.

In delivering our Economic Growth Strategy, we will work with our partners, including those across the South West, to improve economic conditions and, in doing so, help businesses to improve performance – creating new opportunities for residents, tackling poverty and improving health outcomes.  We know that, to retain and attract the workforce that Torbay needs, we must have sufficient affordable housing and a sufficient supply of employment to accommodate growth and inward investment.

Our priorities

We will:

  • Encourage aspiration, providing opportunities for everyone to raise their skill level, particularly in high value careers.
  • Drive training opportunities across all sectors to empower people to improve their skills.
  • Improve transport links to and within Torbay.
  • Develop a year-round economy.
  • Increase the amount of full-time employment opportunities within Torbay.
  • Focus on inclusive growth, with opportunities which benefit everyone.

The outcomes we want to see

  • Established pathways for young people, including those with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND), and unemployed to employment opportunities with skills levels moving toward national averages.
  • People have better transport and digital connections to jobs and amenities.
  • Vacancy rates falling year on year with business reporting they can find talent.
  • Improved productivity in Torbay which closes the gap compared to the national data.
  • The number of businesses and jobs in Torbay increases.
  • Better balance of full-time to part-time opportunities.
  • Targeted approach to inward investment which attracts new high-tech companies.

How we will measure progress

  • Earnings by Torbay residences [households] (gross weekly pay – full time workers)
  • Percentage of people in Torbay in employment (aged 16 to 64)
  • Percentage of Torbay population with full time jobs
  • Rate of National Non Domestic Rates growth
  • Percentage of former cared for children who are now aged 19-21 and in employment, education or training (EET)
  • Proportion of employment in current and emerging sectors
  • In work benefits claimant count
  • Out of work benefits claimant count
  • Rates of transition into work for young people with special educational needs and/or disabilities (SEND)
  • Sustainable transport use
  • Gross Value Added per head of population

Links to the Policy Framework

  • Community Engagement and Empowerment Strategy
  • Economic Growth Strategy (incorporating the Tourism Strategy and Cultural Strategy)
  • Joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy
  • Local Transport Plan
  • Development Plan

Appendix 1:  The Torbay Profile

The following facts and figures are a summary of the Torbay Profile in 2023.  In developing the Community and Corporate Plan we have considered the needs of the community in Torbay and the challenges that they are facing.

Our population

Total population = 139,322

Male population = 67,830 (49%)

Female population = 71,492 (51%)

96.1% of Torbay’s population are white, 1.6% Asian, 1.5% mixed ethnicity, 0.3% black and 0.4% other

62,992 households of which 64% owned, 27% private rented and 8% social rented

Higher numbers of older people compared with the England average

Far fewer people in their 20s and 30s

Highest number of residents living in deprived areas and the highest numbers of children living in income deprived areas when compared with all other councils in the South-West

27% of our residents live in the 20% most deprived areas in England

Approximately double the number of cared for children compared to other areas in England and the South-West

1 in 4 residents say they have a long term illness or disability

Outlier for needing to support higher levels of need in the 18 to 64 age group

Productivity, pay, jobs, living standards and connectivity

Average weekly earnings = £467 (£123 less than the England average) (2020)

57% of our population is of working age and of those 78% are economically active

Estimated 16,000 unpaid carers in Torbay

12.4% of households are in fuel poverty

329 miles of highway - 332 registered electric vehicles

Best broadband rate in Devon (339 premises unable to receive 10 Mbps)

Education, skills, health and wellbeing

29% have a diploma level qualification

75% have the equivalent of 5 GCSEs at grades A-C

24% of our cared for children achieve a GCSE pass in English and maths

Over 1 in 3 children with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCPs) have been excluded from school for a fixed period

Life expectancy gap = 9 years males and 8 years females

Those born into deprived families are more likely to have worse educational and health outcomes

When compared with the South West and England, a larger proportion of Torbay residents report their health as being bad or very bad

Pride in place, housing and crime

Highest number of residents living in private rented accommodation in Devon

Rents higher than Local Housing Allowance and are a challenge for many based on the average weekly wage

The number of homes being built in total is much lower than the Government targets

2290 residents supported through public funding with a range of services including nursing, residential and domiciliary care

Torbay crime rate reported as 10,470 – 50% higher than the overall average for Devon and Cornwall force area:

  • Domestic Abuse
  • Violence with no injury
  • Violence with Injury
  • Criminal Damage
  • Public Order

David Thomas
Leader of the Council Councillor