We are carrying out a Community Governance Review to decide if any changes should be made to local governance arrangements. This includes setting up new town or parish councils to represent communities and deliver a range of local services.

Any new town or parish council would not replace Torbay Council but would exist alongside it, just like Brixham Town Council does now. They decide what, if any, local services they want to provide to residents and may take over responsibility for services previously delivered by us. These may include things like litter-bins, toilets, open spaces, lighting and community centres. The amount they will charge through an additional Council Tax payment (precept) will depend on the number of services they want to provide to their local community.

Our initial suggestion is that two new town councils could be set up to represent Torquay and Paignton respectively. However, alternative options are possible, for example, there could be a larger number of small town or parish councils representing individual areas, parts of Torbay could remain unparished, or we could simply retain the status quo. This review is also an opportunity for people in Brixham to comment on any changes that they might like in respect of their own existing town council.

Our Director of Corporate Services, Anne-Marie Bond, said: “We really want to hear your views on how you would like local services to be delivered in the future. The on-going financial challenges that all local authorities are facing is well documented and we want to ensure that we have the right structure in place to enable as many services as possible that matter to our residents to continue.

“It’s really important to stress that no decisions have been made yet – all recommendations and decisions will be based on feedback from local residents and communities, so please let us know what you think at www.torbay.gov.uk/consultation by Friday 15 March 2019.”

We will consider all the feedback before making draft recommendations. These will then be published for further consultation between June and August ahead of a final decision in October. If any new town or parish councils are established they will come into existence no later than April 2020.

Anyone who is unable to access the survey online can contact us to view a copy at the Town Hall. You can also email engagement@torbay.gov.uk or call 01803 207013.

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