A ‘Statement of Intent’ has been submitted to Government in response to its appetite to devolve powers and budgets from Westminster.
With key themes of Economic growth; Health, social care and wellbeing; and Infrastructure and local resilience, the document is not a fully worked-up proposal, but sets the scene for discussions with Government about what powers could be devolved.
It has been prepared by Somerset and Devon local authorities and follows meetings held in August, kicked-off by a devolution summit organised by Somerset County Council.
In total, 20 local partners are involved in the submission, which will have the support and endorsement of the business community through the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership, which covers Devon, Plymouth, Somerset and Torbay.
Cllr John Osman, Leader of the County Council, who called the initial August summit, said: “A lot of authorities have done a lot of work in a very short time to prepare this document – that’s another example of what can be achieved when authorities in the region pull together where we have common ground.”
“These are very early stages, but we are ambitious and believe that devolution would help us create jobs, build the right infrastructure and make progress on key issues like health and social care integration.”
“We have shared goals with our partners and will be working very closely with them in the coming weeks and months to move things forward.”
The partners involved in the devolution Statement of Intent are as follows:
•Heart of the South West LEP
•Somerset County Council
•Somerset’s district and borough councils: Mendip, Sedgemoor, South Somerset, Taunton Deane and West Somerset
•Devon County Council
•Devon’s district and borough councils: East Devon, Mid Devon, North Devon, South Hams, Teignbridge, Torridge and West Devon
•Plymouth City Council
•Exeter City Council
•Exmoor National Park
•Dartmoor National Park
The full Statement of Intent is available on the County Council’s website here.