How you can make a difference in your community
If there is something you feel needs to change in your community or something your feel your community needs there is help and support for you to make it happen.
Our resources are limited and we can’t provide everything for everybody, but we can help you to get organised and get what you need for your own community.
Get in touch with your local parish or town council and talk to them about what you want to do. They are the most ‘local’ level of local government and their role is about:
- representing their local community
- delivering services to meet local needs
- working to improve quality of life in a parish or town.
Parish and town councils cover services such as allotments, bus shelters, village halls, playgrounds and parks, seats, signs and notice boards, and they have input into the planning process in their area and any local plans.
Most parish or town councils have their own website with information on meetings, activities and contacts. You can also contact the Devon Association of Local Councils at www.devonalc.org.uk or check your Yellow Pages for contact details.
There are eight district authorities in Devon. They are actively involved in community concerns and work with Devon County Council and town and parish councils to help communities work together and do things differently.They also manage services such as refuse collection, kerbside recycling, housing, planning, street cleaning and leisure.Speak to your district councillor or find out how your district council can help your community.
The County Council has overall responsibility for services including social care, childcare and child protection, transport and roads, emergency planning, libraries, Trading Standards, recycling centres and waste disposal.Although the council can no longer do everything directly, there are funding opportunities available for communities. Each of the 62 county councillors has an annual budget, to spend in their division, which allows them to respond to local needs and projects more effectively.They carefully consider which projects and activities would be most beneficial for a community before agreeing to any financial support. To find out more about councillors’ locality budgets visit www.devon.gov.uk/locality-budgets
You can find your local county councillor at www.devon.gov.uk/findyourcouncillor or contact 0845 155 1015
There are independent organisations which can also support and advise you.The Community Council of Devon is an independent charitable company which advises communities on how to help themselves and supports projects throughout rural Devon. Visit www.devonrcc.org.uk
The Council for Voluntary Services works to support the voluntary and community sector (VCS) develop and improve its contribution to the lives of people in their local area. Visit www.dacvs.org.uk/about