Totnes Town Council has raised concerns regarding the proposed Devon and Torbay Devolution Deal.

And in a statement issued this week the council says it is urging residents and businesses to share their comments about the proposal to create a Combined County Authority.

A formal consultation on the plans runs until March 24, and any group or individual can submit comments.

Combining Devon County Council and Torbay Council into one new authority would mean sharing transport, skills, economic development, housing and regeneration plans.

Devon’s district councils would have a voice on the Devon and Torbay Combined County Authority along with the business and education sectors, and the Police and Crime Commissioner. However Plymouth District Council would remain outside the new devolved authority.

But now Totnes Town Council has spoken out against the move.

It said in its statement: “The model would create an unacceptable democratic deficit. We need more of a voice on policies with profound local impacts, not less. Each town and parish area across Devon has its own unique characteristics that require tailored approaches, staying locally accountable.”

“Moreover, we question whether the suggested economic benefits of this deal are realistic or will substantively improve circumstances for Totnes,” it said.

The statement was issued by Catherine Marlton, Totnes Town Council Clerk.

It continued: “As Totnes's elected representatives, it is our duty to advocate for our constituents' interests and self-governance at an appropriate level. A combined authority is at odds with the spirit of true devolution to localized decision-making and compromises a core philosophy of empowering – not disempowering – local communities' abilities to shape their futures.”

Written comments about the proposals can be sent to FREEPOST D & T Devolution. Online submissions can be made at