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Devon councils to collaborate on ‘key decisions’

Three Devon councils are to work more collaboratively to deliver ‘joined-up’ decision making on key issues such as planning, housing, resources and infrastructure. 

Exeter City Council, Teignbridge District Council and East Devon District Council signed the agreement to come together as ‘The Greater Exeter, Greater Devon Partnership’, which they believe will stimulate economic growth in the local area. 

However, the three local authorities – with a combined population of 380,000 – will remain politically independent with “no desire” to change municipal boundaries. 

Pete Edwards, leader of Exeter City Council, said: “As neighbours we have a great track record of working together to secure jobs, houses and investment. But we recognise that there is a great opportunity to grow the regional city economy, deliver higher-paid jobs and provide an even better quality of life for residents and businesses across Devon. 

“Through this partnership we can build a shared vision and invest jointly in initiatives that span our boundaries and benefit the wider area.” 

The three councils have previously worked together on economic development and tourism. Additionally, they recently merged individual ICT services to create Strata Service Solutions Ltd, a shared ICT partnership that will deliver savings of more than £8m over the next five years. It will also deliver better day-to-day services for customers, according to the partners. 

The Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership has backed the latest collaboration, its chair Steve Hindley said: “I fully support this closer collaboration and am convinced that it will be of enormous benefit to everyone concerned.” 

The Greater Exeter Visioning Board will meet every month to define work priorities of the Group. The board will consist of the leaders and chief executives of each district council plus the portfolio holders responsible for development: 

  • Exeter - Cllr Pete Edwards, Karime Hassan and Cllr Rachel Sutton
  • Teignbridge - Cllr Jeremy Christophers, Nicola Bulbeck, Cllr Stuart Barker and Cllr Mike Haines
  • East Devon - Cllr Paul Diviani, Mark Williams and Cllr Andrew Moulding. 

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