Report to:

Hub Committee


9 April 2024


Working with our Communities – Our Framework for Community Development

Portfolio Area:

Councillor Adam Bridgewater

Hub Lead – People and Communities  

Wards Affected:



Neil Hawke

Susannah Hunter


Assistant Director Strategy

Community Development Manager






That the Hub Committee:

1.    ENDORSE the Community Development Framework as set out in Appendix A; and

2.    NOTE the establishment of a new Community Development Team



1. Executive summary


1.1     Community Development enables people in communities to take collective action to make changes to things that are important to them and is rooted from the premise that everyone should be able to live a good and fulfilling life. It is about building effective relationships in communities, encouraging active participation in community life and enacting positive social change.


1.2     The Covid pandemic highlighted the strengths of our communities, who rallied to provide support to our most vulnerable residents when they needed it. As a Council, we supported those communities but we recognise that moving forward, we have an important role to play in supporting our communities to realise their own ambitions.


1.3     In order to deliver against these ambitions, the Council has established a Community Development Team through the realignment of existing resources.


1.4     This report sets out how we intend to support community development across West Devon.



2. Background


2.1      West Devon is made up of strong and vibrant communities who are already working together to make it an even better place to live.


2.2      As a Council, we already do much to support communities, enabling them to bring forward Local Plans focused on the built environment facilitating the delivery of community projects using developer funds that we hold and providing funding to some of our key partners already working with the voluntary sector – such as West Devon CVS and Community Transport schemes. Our councillors also have funding available to support small local projects through their Sustainable Locality Fund.


2.3      We have set out in The Council Plan that we cannot deliver on our aims and ambitions alone – it will require collective action across our communities.


2.4      To support our ambitions, the Council has taken steps to realign existing resources (namely the locality engagement officers) under a new post of Community Development Manager. Following a recruitment process in December, our new Community Development Manager took up post at the end of January.


2.5      The Locality Engagement Officers have moved to the Community Development team from 4th March and will take forward the delivery of a range of actions within The Council Plan including reviewing key partnership funding, facilitating the delivery of an increased Member locality budget and developing a plan to support Arts and Culture across the Borough.


2.6      The framework set out in Appendix A to this report is a starting point for closer working with the voluntary and community sector in the borough.



3.  Proposal and Next Steps


3.1     That the Hub Committee endorse the outline framework and initial actions in order for officers to progress plans and have discussions with key partner organisations such as West Devon CVS in order to co-produce a Community Development Action Plan.


3.2     Hub are also asked to note the steps taken to form a Community Development Team who will help plan and coordinate the Council’s work with communities and act as a resource for members supporting them in their community leadership role.



4. Implications




Details and proposed measures to address




Financial implications to include reference to value for money


No financial implications





Supporting Corporate Strategy


This report directly contributes to actions within the People and Communities delivery plan of The Council Plan

Consultation & Engagement Strategy


This proposal will directly contribute to enhancing the Councils consultation and engagement with residents, including developing plans for how we engage with hard to reach groups.

Climate Change - Carbon / Biodiversity Impact


Engagement with communities on climate and biodiversity.

Comprehensive Impact Assessment Implications

Equality and Diversity



A key part of the role will be to ensure that the Council enhances its understanding of our communities including those with protected characteristics, informing Equality Impact Assessments with local intelligence.   




Community Safety, Crime and Disorder



Health, Safety and Wellbeing



Other implications





Supporting Information


Appendix A – Outline Community Development Framework


Background Papers: