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Young voices barely registered in devolution consultation

Friday, 19 April 2024 08:45

By Bradley Gerrard, local democracy reporter

Signing the Torbay/Devon devolution deal (from left Alison Hernandez, Kevin Foster John Hart, Jacob Young, David Thomas, Anthony Mangnall) (Picture courtesy: Guy Henderson)

Only eight people under the age of 24 registered a view

Just eight people under the age of 24 contributed to the devolution consultation overseen by Devon and Torbay.

Nealy 800 respondents gave their views about the proposal by the two councils to become a combined county authority, or CCA, but only about one per cent came from the under 18 and 18-24 age groups combined.

The largest group was 65-74 year olds, representing 28 per cent of the responses, while the next largest group was those aged 55-64.

And the 75+ cohort came in third at 15 per cent.

Even though a key plank of the combined authority would mean it taking control of the £15 million per year adult education budget for the Devon and Torbay area, allowing it to tailor education opportunities to fit in with the needs of local businesses, the largest single cohort of respondents to the consultation were of pensionable age (40 per cent).

Nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of respondents were working full-time, with nien per cent part-time.

Devon County Council and Torbay Council ran a six-week consultation that ended last month to gauge opinion about their proposal to become a CCA.

A report has been prepared ahead of both councils’ upcoming cabinet meetings this month to look at the feedback and decide whether to press ahead with a final submission to the government.

A decision by Westminster on whether to grant approval – if submitted – is expected next month, with the CCA coming into force this autumn.

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