TOTNES residents and business owners are invited to join in a “community conversation” through a Totnes Town Council survey – to say what’s important to them and how public money should be spent in the town. The survey was launched on July 5 and responses need to be in by September 6.

Paper copies will be posted in the coming weeks and the survey can be completed online. All completed and valid surveys will be entered into a draw to win £50, to be spent with a local business or donated to a local charity.

Responses will be used alongside the Community Charter and Neighbourhood Plan to identify priorities for the Town Council’s Strategic Plan for 2024-30, and setting the budget for the next year. The budget is set annually in November.

Totnes Mayor Emily Price said: “This is your chance to say what you want the town council to do in the coming years. We need you to tell us what matters most so we can plan projects and spend public money effectively to meet those needs.

“Providing grants to support our local community groups, improving the appearance of our streets and helping local businesses to thrive with an active tourism strategy, all cost money, which is collected from a surcharge on the council tax. We recognise the importance of striking a balance between meeting the identified needs of the residents and supporting our strengths as a community with the clear need to keep the surcharge on the council tax as affordable as possible.”

Mayor Price said the cost-of-living crisis and state of the economy means providing services to meet people’s needs is costing more.

“To help understand the priorities of the community we need to know what services residents think are most important and which, if any, are less important.

“We need the views from as many residents and business owners as possible to make sure we plan projects local people want to see happening in town.”

If anyone needs help completing the questionnaire, they can call 01803 862147 or visit the town council offices. Councillors will be attending regular group events in the town, including the Community Café at St John’s Church, and Stepping Stones Food Bank, to help residents complete the survey, and taking a stall at an upcoming Friday Market to speak to the community.

Mayor Price added: “Your views on what matters to you will be key in driving the decisions we make as a town council and I would ask that you therefore spend just a few minutes of your time to complete the survey online or on paper and make sure your voice is heard.”

To complete the survey, click here.