Report to:



30 November 2023


Working with our Communities – our Framework for Community Development

Portfolio Area:

Councillor Dan Thomas –

Deputy Leader

Wards Affected:



Neil Hawke


Assistant Director Strategy


[email protected]





That the Executive:

1.    ENDORSE the Community Development Framework as set out in Appendix A;

2.    ENDORSE the establishment of a new Community Development Team, and

3.    APPROVES adding a cost pressure of £15,000 from 2024/25 onwards to the draft budget proposals for 2024/25 onwards.



1. Executive summary


1.1     Community Development enables people in communities to take collective action to make changes to things that are important to them and is rooted from the premise that everyone should be able to live a good and fulfilling life. It is about building effective relationships in communities, encouraging active participation in community life and enacting positive social change.


1.2     As a Council, we can play an important role in supporting our communities to realise their own ambitions.


1.3     In order to deliver against these ambitions, it is proposed to establish a Community Development Team through the realignment of existing resources.


1.4     This report sets out how we intend to support community development across the South Hams.






2. Background


2.1      The South Hams is made up of strong and vibrant communities who are already working together to make it an even better place to live.


2.2      As a Council, we already do much to support communities, enabling them to bring forward Local Plans focused on the built environment facilitating the delivery of community projects using developer funds that we hold and providing funding to some of our key partners already working with the voluntary sector – such as South Hams Community Action. Our councillors also have funding available to support small local projects through their Sustainable Locality Fund.


2.3      We have set out in our draft Corporate Strategy that we cannot deliver on our aims and ambitions alone – it will require collective action across our communities.


2.4      The framework set out in appendix a to this report is a starting point for closer working with the voluntary and community sector in the district.



3.  Proposal and Next Steps


3.1     That the Executive endorse the outline framework and initial actions in order for officers to progress plans and have discussions with key partner organisations such as South Hams Community Action in order to co-produce a Community Development Action Plan.


3.2     Furthermore, the Executive should note the intention to develop a Community Development Team through some organisational structural changes to ensure the Council is best aligned to work with our communities.


3.3     The Team will help plan and coordinate the Council’s work with communities and act as a resource for members supporting them in their community leadership role.


3.4     The proposal is to realign three Locality Officers to the new team and to appoint a Community Development Lead to take forward the work with partners and communities.


3.5     This role will also take responsibility for bringing together all officers from other departments who are delivering community projects in order to increase our understanding of our communities ambitions.


3.6     The appointment of a new Community Development Lead will create a cost pressure of £15,000 for staffing costs, which it is recommended be built into the budget proposals from 2024/25 onwards.


4. Implications




Details and proposed measures to address




Financial implications to include reference to value for money


The report sets out a budget pressure of £15,000 a year from 2024/25 onwards for staffing costs, which it is recommended is built into the draft budget proposals for 2024/25 onwards.





Supporting Corporate Strategy


This report directly responds to the ambition of Members for the Council to support voluntary and community action within the district, enhancing the work with key partners and developing a greater corporate understanding of our communities own priorities.

Consultation & Engagement Strategy


This proposal will directly contribute to enhancing the Councils consultation and engagement with residents, including developing plans for how we engage with hard to reach groups.

Climate Change - Carbon / Biodiversity Impact


Engagement with communities on climate and biodiversity.

Comprehensive Impact Assessment Implications

Equality and Diversity



A key part of the role will be to ensure that the Council enhances its understanding of our communities including those with protected characteristics, informing Equality Impact Assessments with local intelligence.   




Community Safety, Crime and Disorder



Health, Safety and Wellbeing



Other implications




Supporting Information


Appendix A – Outline Community Development Framework


Background Papers: