Devon County Council provides a wide range of services, either directly or through others. Services include:
Social care and safeguarding including residential and nursing care for older people and those with disabilities, protecting children and vulnerable adults from harm.
Education and families including targeted support for families, adoption, fostering, care leaver support, school support and improvement.
Environment including country parks and environmental management, countryside partnerships with Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, World Heritage Sites and South West Coastal Path.
Health and wellbeing including public health improvement.
Libraries and heritage including libraries and archaeology services.
Planning and development including long-term and large scale planning such as minerals waste planning and transport infrastructure.
Highways and traffic management including general roads maintenance, winter gritting, gully cleansing, public rights of way, cycle paths, traffic management and road safety.
Services for communities including trading standards, emergency planning, registrars and supporting public and community transport.
Many services are commissioned and therefore delivered by a range of partners such as private companies, voluntary sector and social enterprises. Some services are also run in partnership as joint ventures such as Babcock Learning and Development Partnership which provides support to schools.
Most of the geographical county of Devon is a two-tier authority area. The County Council does not collect household waste directly from homes, deal with social housing, environmental health, street cleaning, urban parks, leisure facilities, or residential and private planning applications. These services are run through district councils, such as Exeter or Teignbridge. Torbay and Plymouth are separate Unitary authorities and provide all county and district functions themselves.
Major roads, like the M5 and A30, are maintained by the Highways Agency. Private companies provide public transport and we allocate funding to support some vital routes that are not commercially viable but do not run or commission public transport ourselves.
Life in Devon
The third largest county by area in England, Devon, is a superb place to live. With two spectacular coastlines and moors, its heritage and landscape, sense of community, high levels of volunteering and low crime rates are consistently ranked amongst the best in the country.
The distance from Ilfracombe in north Devon to Dartmouth in the south is around 80 miles, and from Tavistock in the west to Axminster in the east it is 69 miles. Devon is the seventh most scarcely populated county.
The population of about 750,000 is mainly centered around its 28 market and coastal towns and the city of Exeter. But the rural nature of the county brings challenges in making sure that everyone can access the services they need and a good infrastructure is critical to improving the quality of life and enabling economic growth.
Our population is also growing and living longer, placing a challenge on services that care for older people. Although people in Devon enjoy good health and higher life expectancy overall, there are pockets where this is not the case.