Final Devon County Council election results, and the victorious Conservatives' promises for the coming years

  Posted: 08.05.21 at 12:56 by Philippa Davies

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The final results are in for the Devon County Council elections, after the last votes were counted in the Broadclyst and Exmouth wards on Saturday, May 8.

The Conservatives won both Exmouth seats and one of the two in Broadclyst – the other was taken by the Green Party.
It means the Conservatives have 39 seats, and the Liberal Democrats have nine, making them the official opposition party.

Labour have seven seats – all in Exeter. There are three Independent councillors, including Jess Bailey in Otter Valley, who took over from Claire Wright and attracted the largest number of votes in the entire election, with more than 3,000.

In Sidmouth, Conservative Stuart Hughes held on to his seat, but it was a close call. He won 2,601 votes, while Independent East Devon Alliance candidate, Louise MacAllister, won 2,431.

Previously, the Conservatives had 41 seats, Labour and the Liberal Democrats each had six, there were four Independents, one Green Party councillor, one from the East Devon Alliance, and one North Devon Liberal.

What the Conservative council is promising to do

Following the results, the Conservative leader of the county council, John Hart, said the authority will ‘continue to govern in Devon for the benefit of the county as a whole and for all our residents’.

He said the council will ‘create the right climate for business to create jobs’.

This includes a £4million investment in the Future Skills Centre at Exeter Airport to help train young people – and anyone else wanting to change career or re-skill. He said the council is also working closely with South Hams District and Plymouth City councils on the new Plymouth and South Devon Freeport.

He said: "We’ve supported work hubs where small businesses or start-ups can hire office space and equipment. There are currently 15 across the county and we’re planning at least seven more.

"Over the next two years, we’ve set aside £6.2 million to provide support to help businesses regenerate and our economy recover.

"We are supporting tourism, hospitality and local producers as our economy continues to re-open. We've launched a major Made in Devon marketing campaign to support and promote county businesses to local people and visitors alike.

"This is already supporting food producers and agriculture and will back tourism and hospitality as the restrictions are lifted.

"We are backing the roll-out of fast broadband for rural Devon. An £80 million pound programme is under way in Devon and Somerset which will help to halt the digital divide between rural and urban communities in our county."

Transport and environmental issues

In transport, he mentioned improvements to the North Devon link road, the start of work to allow passenger rail services from Okehampton to Exeter to re-start, and the beginning of work on the new rail station at Exeter's Marsh Barton industrial estate, connecting it with Teignbridge and East Devon.

He said: "And we are very mindful that we have to do all this and get the recovery going whilst keeping our promise to reduce carbon emissions.

"Across the county council, we've cut our carbon footprint by almost half and we're on target to become net-zero carbon by 2030.

"We will continue to invest in LED lighting on our streetlights. That both saves money but also cuts our carbon emissions.

"There will be more charging points for electric cars, solar panels on the roofs of our buildings and we are looking for more land to plant trees to offset our carbon footprint.

"There's a lot to do as we recover from the pandemic and I can't wait to get back to work.”

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