|Founded||1 April 1968|
since 16 May 2023
since 16 May 2023
Length of term
|Whole council elected every four years|
|4 May 2023|
|6 May 2027|
|SALUS ET FELICITAS (Health and Happiness)|
|Town Hall, Castle Circus, Torquay, TQ1 3DR|
Torbay Council is the local authority for Torbay, a unitary authority with borough status in the ceremonial county of Devon, England. The council is based in Torquay.
Following the 2023 election the Conservatives had a majority of the seats - however in October 2023 two Conservative members left the party to form a new group, Prosper Torbay. This leaves the Conservative group as a minority, though still in control of the council.The leader of the council is David Thomas.
The council was created on 1 April 1968 to govern the county borough of Torbay, which replaced the abolished municipal borough of Torquay, urban districts of Brixham and Paignton and civil parish of Churston Ferrers. The council's formal title on creation in 1968 was the "mayor, aldermen and burgesses of the borough of Torbay", informally known as the corporation or borough council. As a county borough, the council provided all local government services for the area.
Six years later local government was reorganised again, under the Local Government Act 1972. Torbay kept the same boundaries, but on 1 April 1974 it became a non-metropolitan district, with Devon County Council once more providing county-level services to the area.Torbay retained borough status, allowing the council to take the name "Torbay Borough Council" and letting the chair of the council take the title of mayor, continuing Torbay's series of mayors which had started in 1968.
Torbay regained its independence from the county council in 1998 when it was made a unitary authority, since when it has styled itself "Torbay Council".Between 2005 and 2019 the council had a directly elected mayor. Since 2019 political leadership has instead been provided by a leader of the council.
As a unitary authority, Torbay Council has the responsibilities of both a district council and county council combined. In its capacity as a district council it is a billing authority collecting Council Tax and business rates, and its responsibilities include town planning, housing, waste collection and environmental health. In its capacity as a county council it is a local education authority, and responsible for social services, libraries and waste disposal.
Torbay Council appoints two members to the Devon and Somerset Combined Fire Authorityand appoints one member to the Devon and Cornwall Police and Crime Panel. The Torbay Health and Wellbeing Board is made up of representatives from Torbay Council and other local healthcare organisations.
The council has been under Conservative majority control since the 2023 election.
Political control of the council since the 1974 reforms has been as follows:
|Party in control||Years|
|No overall control||1990–1991|
|Party in control||Years|
|No overall control||2019–2023|
Prior to 2005, political leadership was provided by the leader of the council. The leader from 2003 to 2005 was:
|Chris Harris||Liberal Democrats||15 May 2003||23 Oct 2005|
Between 2005 and 2019 the council had a directly elected mayor. The mayors were:
|Nick Bye||Conservative||24 Oct 2005||8 May 2011|
|Gordon Oliver||Conservative||9 May 2011||5 May 2019|
In 2019 the council reverted to having a leader instead of a directly elected mayor. The leaders since 2019 have been:
|Steve Darling||Liberal Democrats||28 May 2019||16 May 2023|
|David Thomas||Conservative||16 May 2023|
Following the 2023 election the composition of the council was:
The two independent councillors sit together as the "Independent Group".The next election is due in 2027.
The council is based at Torquay Town Hall on Castle Circus, which had been completed in 1911 for the former Torquay Town Council.
On its creation in 1968 the council also inherited the former Paignton Urban District Council's headquarters at Oldway Mansion and the former Brixham Urban District Council's headquarters at Brixham Town Hall. Oldway Mansion was used as additional office space for the council until 2013.Brixham Town Hall was transferred to Brixham Town Council in 2011.
Since the last boundary changes in 2019 the council has comprised 36 councillors representing 16 wards, with each ward electing one, two or three councillors. Elections are held every four years.
Torquay is a seaside town in Devon, England, part of the unitary authority area of Torbay. It lies 18 miles (29 km) south of the county town of Exeter and 28 miles (45 km) east-north-east of Plymouth, on the north of Tor Bay, adjoining the neighbouring town of Paignton on the west of the bay and across from the fishing port of Brixham.
Brixham is a coastal town and civil parish in the borough of Torbay in the county of Devon, in the south-west of England. As of the 2021 census, Brixham had a population of 16,825. It is one of the main three centres of the borough, along with Paignton and Torquay.
Torbay is unitary authority with a borough status in the ceremonial county of Devon, England. It is governed by Torbay Council, based in the town of Torquay. The borough also includes the towns of Paignton and Brixham. The borough consists of 62.87 square kilometres (24.27 sq mi) of land around the east-facing Tor Bay, part of Lyme Bay on the English Channel. A popular tourist destination, Torbay's sandy beaches, mild climate and recreational and leisure attractions have given rise to its nickname of the "English Riviera".
Paignton is a seaside town on the coast of Tor Bay in Devon, England. Together with Torquay and Brixham it forms the borough of Torbay which was created in 1968. The Torbay area is a holiday destination known as the English Riviera. Paignton has origins as a Celtic settlement and was first mentioned in 1086. It grew as a small fishing village and a new harbour was built in 1847. A railway line was opened to passengers in 1859 creating links to Torquay and London. As its population increased, it merged with the villages of Goodrington and Preston. Paignton is around 25 miles (40 km) north east of Plymouth and 20 miles (32 km) south of Exeter.
South Hams is a local government district on the south coast of Devon, England. Its council is based in the town of Totnes, although the largest town is Ivybridge. The district also contains the towns of Dartmouth, Kingsbridge and Salcombe and numerous villages and surrounding rural areas.
Oldway Mansion is a large house and gardens in Paignton, Devon, England. It was built as a private residence for Isaac Singer (1811–1875), and rebuilt by his son Paris Singer, in the style of the Palace of Versailles.
Torbay is a constituency in Devon represented in the House of Commons of the UK Parliament since 2015 by Kevin Foster, a Conservative. He defeated Adrian Sanders of the Liberal Democrats, who had held the seat since 1997.
Torbay Council is the local authority for the unitary authority of Torbay in Devon, England. Until 1 April 1998 it was a non-metropolitan district. From 2005 to 2019 it had a directly elected mayor. The council is elected every four years.
Torquay was a county constituency in Devon, South West England, which returned one Member of Parliament to the House of Commons of the Parliament of the United Kingdom.
Exeter City Council is the local authority for Exeter, a non-metropolitan district with city status in Devon, England.
Churston Ferrers is an area and former civil parish, in the borough of Torbay, Devon, England, situated between the south coast towns of Paignton and Brixham. Today it is administered by local government as the Churston-with-Galmpton ward of the Torbay unitary authority. It contains the coastal village of Churston, the now larger village of Galmpton and the Broadsands area.
Devon County Council is the county council administering the English county of Devon. Based in the city of Exeter, the council covers the non-metropolitan county area of Devon. Members of the council (councillors) are elected every four years. Almost all councillors are members of the major national political parties.
Galmpton is a semi-rural village in Torbay, in the ceremonial county of Devon, England. It is located in the ward of Churston-with-Galmpton and the historic civil parish of Churston Ferrers, though some areas historically considered parts of Galmpton, such as Greenway and Galmpton Creek, are situated in the Devon borough of South Hams.
Plymouth City Council is the local authority for Plymouth, a unitary authority with city status in the ceremonial county of Devon, England.
Torquay Town Hall is a municipal building in Castle Circus in Torquay, Devon, England. The building, which is the meeting place of Torbay Council, is a Grade II listed building.
The Old Town Hall is a former municipal building in Union Street, Torquay, Devon, England. The building, which was the headquarters of Torquay Borough Council until 1911, is a Grade II listed building.