Agenda item

Northern Devon Futures Update

Chief Executive to report.


The Chief Executive provided Council with an update on the Northern Devon Futures partnership. He advised Council of the following:


·       The history of setting up the Northern Devon Futures partnership. It was a partnership of organisations working together to improve the lives of those who lived and worked in Northern Devon and to plan for the future of the area.

·       As North Devon was 1 economic area, Torridge District Council was also part of the programme.

·       Discussions had taken place with One Northern Devon regarding their role within the group and it had been agreed that their role would be a delivery partner and not as a strategic partner on the group.

·       Northern Devon Futures Board was currently chaired by Petroc. Membership of the board included the MP’s for both North Devon and Torridge, both District Councils, Devon County Council, the Police, the NHS, Heart of the South West LEP and Chamber of Commerce.

·       Discussions had taken place regarding the future of partnership and themed groups that would be established, governance and secretariat arrangements. The partnership was a collaboration and staffed by the organisations that formed the partnership to drive forward the strategic vision and projects for North Devon.  

·       The secretariat team serviced meetings of the Board and Action Groups and progressed the Partnership’s strategy and actions. Team members were employed by partner organisations. A number of themed sub groups had been established which included: Children and Young People; Economy, Innovation and Skills; Health and wellbeing liaison; Place and Community; New Funding Proposals Support; and Climate Emergency.  Each group would be Chaired by a member of the secretariat team. The themed groups would put forward the main issues and priorities to be incorporated into the overall strategy for Northern Devon.

·       The main aim of the Board was to create a single vision for Northern Devon and make sure all partners had an input into strategic plans such as the Local Plan which would then help to shape their own organisation’s strategies.

·       There was currently no representative from the Culture sector on the Board and a representative would be sought from the Arts Council board.

·       The next meeting of the Board would be held in October 2021 and more regular meetings would then be scheduled.


In response to questions, the Chief Executive advised the following:


·       Transport was a cross cutting theme and would be included under Economy and Place. Devon County Council were represented on the Board.

·       Discussions had taken place with One Northern Devon regarding their role on the Board and they were of the view that they were a delivery partner across all of the sectors.  The role of One Northern Devon was unchanged and would continue to operate as they were currently. North Devon Council valued One Northern Devon as an organisation and the Council would not have been able to provide the community response to the Covid pandemic without their support.

·       There were democratic representations on the Board such as the Leaders of North Devon and Torridge Councils, Devon County Councillor Gilbert and Alison Hernandez.

·       The Board would not replace the governance structure of the Councils or any organisations represented on the Board. The Board was a collaboration to deliver actions for Northern Devon.

·       The Government had recently made an announcement which indicated potential change in the infrastructure for health inequality and pay.  By working collaboratively together, would give a stronger voice to Government future proposals.

·       The Health and Wellbeing Group would be led by Andrea Beacham of One Northern Devon and John Womersley was a member of the Board.

·       The Board was not a legal entity and therefore would not be in a position to apply for funding or take away the opportunity for the Council to apply for future funding from the Government.