Totnes Town Council is pleased to announce the successful conclusion of the Totnes Community Conversation survey, which ran from 5 July 2023 to 6 September 2023. 420 submissions from residents and businesses were received either online or were filled in by hand and returned to the council offices. The valuable feedback received will play a pivotal role in shaping the town’s future priorities and ensuring that residents’ needs remain at the forefront of decision-making processes.
The Totnes Community Conversation survey was launched with the primary objective of capturing the thoughts, concerns, and aspirations of our vibrant and diverse community. Survey forms were posted to every household via Royal Mail, a link to complete the survey online was widely publicised in local print and digital media, and councillors spoke to residents in the market and outside Morrisons during the survey period to answer questions to help ensure everyone had access to share their views. The good response underscores the commitment of Totnes residents to actively participate in the decision-making processes that affect their town.
The valuable insights obtained from the survey will serve as a compass guiding Totnes Town Council over the next four years. The council is committed to utilising this data-driven approach to decision-making, ensuring that the community’s aspirations are reflected in budget allocations and strategic planning.
Catherine Marlton, Totnes Town Council Clerk, expressed gratitude for the solid response to the survey: “Many thanks to everyone who took the time to share your thoughts by completing our survey. Your voices are a driving force in shaping the future of our town. The town council will take these insights to heart as we work to prioritise your needs and create a brighter future for Totnes.”
In the coming months, the council will engage in a comprehensive analysis of the survey results. These results will be viewed alongside other insights on local need to develop a strategic plan that aligns with the priorities identified by residents and businesses. The priority focus areas for the next four years will be agreed by councillors in October before a more detailed plan of actions is drawn up and budgets are agreed by the end of the year.
All completed and valid surveys (postcode within the parish boundary, no duplicate entries) were entered into a draw to win £50. This can be spent with a local business or donated to a local charity (again within the parish boundary). The survey respondent whose name was drawn at random has been contacted.
For more information about the Totnes Community Conversation survey and updates on how the results will inform the town’s priorities, please visit www.totnestowncouncil.gov.uk or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information, please contact Lucy Ferrier email@example.com or call 01803 862147
What does the Town Council do?
The Town Council is a tier of local government that plays a role in improving community wellbeing and improving local services. Councillors are elected by residents and have discretionary powers and rights to represent local people and provide services for them.
Statutory duties (things the Town Council must do in the town):
- Managing and maintaining the cemetery (Plymouth Road)
- Maintaining and managing other spaces and buildings in the town, including The Civic Hall and The Guildhall as well as Castle Meadow
- Holding required council meetings and official mayoral events following strict procedures.
Current other activities and projects in town (aiming to support more vulnerable members of the community, improve wellbeing and help the town to thrive):
- Supporting services for vulnerable residents by providing grants to local community groups, especially for those who might find it hard to get funding from other sources. For example, previous recipients of Town Council grants include Totnes Caring, Stepping Stones Food Bank, Food in Community and Jamming Station
- Supporting vulnerable residents by taking a coordinating role within the TQ9: Together We Care Partnership to ensure a more joined-up approach to provision of community support in the town
- Sharing information on availability of external grants with local community groups
- Improving the town’s appearance by employing a Town Maintenance Officer and Assistant. Duties include mowing grass at certain locations, including St Mary’s Churchyard
- Support for projects to improve town facilities, such as Collapark Play Area
- Supporting heritage organisations in town
- Responding to local concerns such as the potential sale of the Elmhirst site
- Taking an active role in tackling climate change, including by promoting active travel and green initiatives in the town.
- Support for local businesses, including actively promoting Totnes as a destination via the Visit Totnes brand to encourage new and returning visitors to spend time (and money) in the town. This includes operating a Tourist Information Centre in the Market Square from April-October and holding events like the Totnes Christmas Markets and Late Night Shopping and Summer Fair events and monthly Indoor Artisan Markets in the Civic Hall
- From 2023, Totnes Town Council has agreed to take on responsibility for the festive street lighting at Christmas (previously the responsibility of the Chamber of Commerce)
How is the Town Council funded?
In 2023-24, Totnes Town Council received £205.23 from the average £2,383.13 Band D annual Council Tax payment (or about £17 a month / £4 a week). The remainder is given to Devon County Council, South Hams District Council, The Police, and The Fire Service. With that money, the Town Council meets its legal duties such as managing the cemetery on Plymouth Road as well as investing in areas that local people have previously said they wanted prioritised:
- The economy
- The environment
- Social and community
- Culture and heritage