How the council works
We are a progressive council committed to creating an environment where people can flourish and to providing quality services to those who live and work in the district.
As outlined by our Corporate Plan 2016-2020, we have agreed to focus on the following corporate priorities to improve life in Mid Devon over the next three years:
We abide by a Constitution that sets out how we operate, how decisions are made and the procedures which are followed to ensure that these are efficient, transparent and accountable to local people. Some of these processes are required by the law, while others are a matter of council choice. The Constitution is divided into 16 articles setting out the basic rules that govern our business.
Elected members (district councillors) represent different wards within the district. They determine the strategic direction and policies for the Council. The Conservatives have overall control of the Council. The Leader is Councillor Clive Eginton (Conservative) and the Chairman is Councillor Peter Heal (Conservative). Elected members are not paid to carry out their role, but do receive a small yearly allowance, see Members' Allowances. Elections take place every four years, see Future election dates.
We have an Executive structure, with a 'Cabinet' (formerly known as the 'Executive'). The advantages of this system include:
- increased efficiency - decisions are taken more quickly, responsibly and accurately to meet the needs and aspirations of the community
- greater transparency - it is clear to people who is responsible for what
- more accountability - people can measure the actions taken against the policies and plans on which those responsible were elected to office and people can identify with a stronger, more focused leadership
- less time spent in committee meetings - giving Councillors more time to represent their communities and to forge closer links with partner organisations
To find out more about the role of the Full Council, the Cabinet, other committees and the Policy Development Groups, see Meetings, agendas and minutes.
Officers of the Council
Officers, in paid employment, carry out the policies set by the elected members and deliver services to the local community. The head of paid service is the Chief Executive Stephen Walford, see also Meet the Leadership Team and Staff structure.
Our overall net annual budget (not including council housing and capital expenditure) is about £10million. Income is from a combination of council tax, central government grant and revenue earned from providing services (for example, collecting trade waste and car parking). We have a legal duty to set a balanced budget and not to spend more money than we bring in, see Budgets.
The local area
Mid Devon covers an area of 353 square miles (914 km2) in the rural, agricultural heartland of Devon, between Dartmoor, Exmoor and the Blackdown Hills. Over half the population of some 78,000 people is scattered in villages in the rural hinterland, with the balance divided between the three main towns of Tiverton, Cullompton and Crediton, see Mid Devon Boundary Map.