North Devon and Torridge District Councils have backed calls to explore devolution options in the South West.

The councils – along with 18 other South West partners – have issued a ‘Statement of Intent’ seeking further talks with the Government to wrestle decision making from Westminster.

They want a greater say and greater control over how the region can be developed, and greater autonomy in shaping its future.

Councillor Jane Whittaker, leader of Torridge District Council said: “This letter of intent represents only the first stage of a process which the Government must now endorse.

“It will provide a platform for councils and other partners in the South West to explore more fully the benefits that devolution will potentially be able to offer the regions businesses, residents and visitors.

North Devon Council chief executive of Mike Mansell added: “There is a huge potential for the whole area if we can persuade Government to shift more of the decision making down to the local area and away from Westminster.”