West Devon

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West Devon
Borough of West Devon
West Devon shown within Devon
West Devon shown within Devon
Sovereign stateUnited Kingdom
Constituent countryEngland
RegionSouth West England
Non-metropolitan countyDevon
StatusNon-metropolitan district
Admin HQTavistock
Incorporated1 April 1974
 • TypeNon-metropolitan district council
 • BodyWest Devon Borough Council
 • LeadershipAlternative - Sec.31 (Conservative)
 • MPsGeoffrey Cox
Mel Stride
 • Total448.3 sq mi (1,161.1 km2)
 • Rank24th (of 309)
 (mid-2019 est.)
 • Total55,796
 • Rank307th (of 309)
 • Density120/sq mi (48/km2)
 • Ethnicity
99.1% White
Time zoneUTC0 (GMT)
 • Summer (DST)UTC+1 (BST)
ONS code18UL (ONS)
E07000047 (GSS)
OS grid referenceSX5150683684

West Devon is a local government district and borough in Devon, England. Towns and villages in the district include Chagford, Okehampton, Princetown and Tavistock, where the council is based.

The district was formed on 1 April 1974, under the Local Government Act 1972, as a merger of the previous municipal borough of Okehampton, Okehampton Rural District, and Tavistock Rural District. West Devon contains most of Dartmoor.


Elections to the borough council are held every four years with 31 councillors representing 22 wards.

Date Conservative +/- Independent +/- Green +/- Liberal Democrats +/- Control Majority
2007 14 10 0 - 7 No overall control -3
2011 19 +5 9 -1 0 - 3 -4 Conservative +7
2015[1] 21 +2 10 +1 0 - 0 -3 Conservative +11
2019[2] 16 -5 12 +2 2 +2 1 +1 Conservative +1
2020[3] 15 -1 12 - 2 - 2 +1 No overall control -1

In 2013, the Local Government Boundary Commission for England initiated a review of West Devon with the aim of delivering electoral equality amongst voters at local elections, with each councillor representing a similar number of voters and with ward boundaries reflecting the interests and identities of local communities.[4] After a consultation period, the commission recommended that West Devon should continue to be represented by 31 councillors and that certain changes should be made to the wards; they proposed moving from a two-member Dartmoor ward to two single-member wards called Dartmoor and Mary Tavy; and from a two-member Tamarside ward to two single-member wards, Tamarside and Milton Ford.[5]

In the EU referendum of 2016, the majority of voters in West Devon voted to leave the European Union (18,937 to 16,658, that is 53.2% to 46.8%). The turnout was 81.25%.[6]

In 2020, Cllr Mike Davies left the Conservatives to sit as an independent over the Conservative Government's handling of the Dominic Cummings breaking of lockdown rules during the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then a separate independent, Cllr Robin Musgrave has joined the Liberal Democrats. The net result is to leave the number of independents unchanged, the number of Conservatives down one and Liberal Democrats up one, thus denying the Conservatives an overall majority.[7] The Conservatives regained a majority on the council in November 2021 following a by-election in the Bere Ferrers ward.[8]


Services provided by West Devon Borough Council to the local community include the administration of council tax and local benefits, the provision of car parking services, the collection of refuse and the recycling of waste, planning and building control, housing services, the provision of sport and leisure facilities, environmental services, business-related services and contingency planning.[9]

Town Twinning[edit]

West Devon is twinned with Germany Wesseling, Germany since 1983.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Local Election Results". West Devon Borough Council. Retrieved 5 January 2017.
  2. ^ "Local Election Results". West Devon Borough Council. Retrieved 14 May 2020.
  3. ^ "Devon councillor leaves Tories in the lurch after resigning over Cummings furore". Devon Live. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  4. ^ "West Devon". Local Government Boundary Commission for England. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  5. ^ "Local electoral arrangements finalised for West Devon Borough Council". Local Government Boundary Commission for England. 14 October 2014. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  6. ^ "EU Referendum Results 2016". West Devon Borough Council. Retrieved 10 July 2018.
  7. ^ "Devon councillor leaves Tories in the lurch after resigning over Cummings furore". Devon Live. Retrieved 26 June 2020.
  8. ^ Churm, Philip (12 December 2021). "West Devon's newest councillor". Plymouth Live. Retrieved 29 July 2022.
  9. ^ "West Devon Borough Council". West Devon Borough Council. Retrieved 14 August 2016.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 50°38′N 4°06′W / 50.633°N 4.100°W / 50.633; -4.100