Torbay Council

Election results for 2019

    Elected in 2019
    Total
    +/-
    15
    15
    -9
    Elected in 2019
    Total
    +/-
    13
    13
    +5
    Elected in 2019
    Total
    +/-
    8
    8
    +5
    Elected in 2019
    Total
    +/-
    0
    0
    -1

Most Recent

Council getting tough on outdoor seating at cafes

Ed Oldfield

Local Democracy Reporting Service

A Devon council is planning to get tough with cafes and restaurants that refuse to pay for a permit to put tables and chairs on the pavement.

Torbay Council is owed about £3,400 from 14 business that have refused to pay for their pavement licences.

The council’s licensing committee was told the money currently had to be chased as a civil debt. Members approved a new policy to allow officers to revoke a licence if it remained unpaid after 14 days.

Businesses would then be treated as unauthorised and would have their furniture seized and be sent a bill for the cost of enforcement.

Tables on street
BBC

Premises found using the pavement without a licence would be told to remove the furniture and apply for a licence within seven days. If they ignore the letter, they would also face their tables and chairs being removed and get a bill for the cost.

Council officer Gary O’Shea said his colleagues had recently identified nine cafes using pavements without a licence and had received six applications.

Two had removed the furniture and another was being given more time because of a change in ownership.

Torbay residents getting second chance on town councils

Ed Oldfield

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Torbay Council will ask residents if they want town councils in Torquay and Paignton for a second time after a Tory move to block the idea failed.

The controversial scheme is seen by the council’s Liberal Democrat and Independent leadership as a way to save services at risk from government cuts and bring decision-making closer to voters.

The council voted at a meeting on Thursday to start a second stage of consultation on the proposals in September. As a result, people will be asked on their views on setting up the new councils from next April.

But Conservatives argue the scheme could be used to add up to £300 a year to Band D council tax, and create and unwanted and unnecessary extra layer of councillors and bureaucracy.

The proposal caps the first year’s Band D council tax at £90 and will produce almost £3.5m, which will allow town councils to take over services currently controlled by top-tier authority, such as museums and public toilets.

Government funding for Torbay has dropped by £21m over the last four years and the council is facing another £18m of cuts over the next three years.

Torbay Council
BBC

Hard-up council owns £8m art collection

Ed Oldfield

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Hard-up Torbay Council owns an art collection worth almost £8m, its accounts reveal.

The works include William Holman Hunt’s ‘The Children’s Holiday’, painted in 1864, which is at Torre Abbey museum in Torquay.

Other highlights include drawings by Victorian artist Edward Burne-Jones for his stained glass panels ‘The Planets’.

Last year the local authority imposed a freeze on non-urgent spending because of financial pressures.

It has had to find £7m of savings to balance this year’s books and faces an estimated £18m shortfall over the next three years.

Painting
LDRS

Spending on children’s services went £5m over budget, which the council blamed on the increased number of children in care and the rising cost and complexity of cases.

Staff leaving packages cost the council £200,000 in the last financial year.

The payments went to six council staff and 11 from schools.

The number of council employees not including schools fell during the year by 48 to 958.

Painting
LDRS

The council owns watercolours by Thomas Luny and FJ Widgery and a rare proof set of Victorian artist and poet William Blake’s ‘The Book of Job’.

The estimated value of the holding has fallen by £300,000 in the last year to £7.8m, according to the council’s annual statement of accounts.

The council’s heritage property portfolio is valued at £24.6m, with the most important being Torre Abbey, an 800-year-old former medieval monastery worth an estimated £20m.

Torbay has seen its Government grant fall by £21m over the last four years due to austerity.

Torbay set to declare climate emergency

Ed Oldfield

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Torbay is set to declare at climate emergency and speed up plans to tackle climate change.

Liberal Democrat councillor Lee Howgate is asking for the commitment at a meeting of the full council on Wednesday 19 June, saying it was time "the environment came first, rather than being seen as an optional extra.”

If approved, his motion would instruct the council’s cabinet to work with partners on a strategy to make Torbay carbon neutral by 2030. The council would also ask the government for extra money and powers to help it meet the target.

The motion will be discussed at the first meeting of the council since an alliance of Liberal Democrats and Independents took control after the elections in May.

Mr Howgate said councillors had "a moral and economic duty to make sure we are facing up to the biggest challenge of our generation – and not leaving a bigger mess to future generations".

Torquay Town Hall
LDRS

Torbay Council criticised for ill teen's lack of tuition

Ed Oldfield

Local Democracy Reporting Service

A Devon council has been criticised for failing to carry out its duty to an ill teenager who was left without tuition for a year.

The girl, identified as Miss X, was entitled to three hours of GCSE tuition a week in Information and Communications Technology under an education health and care (EHC) plan issued by Torbay Council in September 2017. But the tutor withdrew after the pupil cancelled at short notice seven times in 16 sessions.

After a year without tuition, the girl’s mother complained on her behalf to the Local Government and Social Care Ombudsman

An investigation found the council was at fault for not restoring the lessons from January last year.

The council has apologised and agreed to pay the girl £900 for the loss of provision and £100 each month it continued, and to pay her mother £250.

The report said Miss X had a medical condition which meant she found it better to work in the late afternoon and sometimes had to cancel at short notice. The investigator said she was not responsible for her condition, and he did not criticise the late cancellations or blame her.

Torbay Council said it had "apologised to the complainant and her mother and has taken the actions identified by the ombudsman.”

Lib Dems and Independents take control of council

John Ayres

BBC Spotlight

The Liberal Democrats and Independents have joined forces to take control of Torbay Council.

It follows the elections two weeks ago where no party won enough seats for outright control.

The Conservatives are the largest party, but now the Lib Dems with 13 seats and Independents with eight are linking up.

They say they have shared values and will work together on their priorities of housing, helping deprived areas and regeneration.

Council 'making progress' after 'inadequate' report

Ed Oldfield

Local Democracy Reporting Service

Torbay Council is “starting to make some progress” in improving children’s services almost a year after they were judged inadequate for a second time, according to Ofsted inspectors.

It was the second monitoring visit since the council’s children’s services were declared inadequate for a second time last June.

The visit by two inspectors in April followed “serious and widespread child protection concerns” identified in January.

Torbay Council
BBC

A report after the April visit said: “The local authority is starting to make some progress, from an extremely low base, in improving services for its children and young people, but these improvements remain exceedingly fragile.”

Torbay council’s director of children’s services Alison Botham welcomed the recognition by inspectors of the hard work and commitment by staff and managers, and added: “I know that there is still much to be done.”

Local Elections 2019: Latest results in Devon

BBC Radio Devon

Devon's Local Election results have been coming in throughout the morning.

  • The Liberal Democrats gained 10 seats in North Devon. They have become the largest party taking 21 of the 42 seats, missing out on taking overall control of the council by a single seat, though one seat is still to be contested due to the death of one of the candidates.
  • Labour retained Plymouth and gained an extra seat. It was a difficult night for the Conservatives in the city, though. They dropped to third place behind UKIP in several wards.
  • Labour has retained control in Exeter. The Green Party won its first seat in the city, with Diana Moore winning in St Davids.
  • No party has won a majority in Torbay, although the Conservatives have the most seats with 15, leading the Liberal Democrats by two.

You can find more news, results, and reaction from Devon's local elections here.

No majority Torbay: 'Interesting' conversations to be had

Hayley Westcott

BBC News Online

In Torbay the Conservatives ended up with 15 seats, the Liberal Democrats 13 and the Independents eight.

Although this means no overall majority, Conservative councillor David Thomas is hopeful for the Bay.

"We are the biggest party, we have 15 seats but not in control," he said.

"There will be some very interesting conversations to be had over the next few days.

"Hopefully, enough people who have been elected want to see Torbay move forward."