AN effort to set up joint working and possibly shared services between North Devon and Torridge district councils took a step forward last night (Wednesday.) Members of North Devon Council voted in favour of exploring sharing services with its neighbours after a debate at a full council meeting. This echoes a similar decision made at Torridge last week. "I see this as a positive step forward," Leader of North Devon Council, Councillor Des Brailey said. "I'm grateful to my colleagues for looking at the bigger picture and considering the wider benefits for local residents of the two councils working more closely together." His counterpart, Torridge Leader Cllr James Morrish added: "The most important part of any partnership is trust. "To be honest, the relationship between both Torridge and North Devon councils has in the past been a little negative, however it is time for us both to be bold and positive and ensure this new way of running a local authority works successfully and provides the best in services at the lowest possible cost to the our residents and business." The next steps will involve further meetings between the two councils to decide which services to look at first.