Our City Council Manifesto for 2015 – 2016 has 5 key themes:
- Housing our Communities
- Supporting Business & Economic Growth
- Sharing the Benefits of Growth
- Building Stronger Communities
- A Green & Healthy City
Our vision is a city where everyone has a safe and secure place to live, regardless of income. The housing problems we face will demand a range of measures to solve them. We will:
- Aim for 35% social and affordable housing on all new private housing developments.
- Continue to build new energy-efficient Council Houses on council-owned land, to provide affordable homes and reduce fuel poverty, and look for appropriate sites to expand the programme.
- Continue to explore new ways to provide affordable homes, including co-operative housing and self-build housing.
- Continue to work with landlords to improve standards in the Private Rented Sector, following our successful introduction of an additional licensing scheme for Houses in Multiple Occupancy.
Under Labour Exeter has a pro-business council that invests in our city. We are proud of our record but want to help businesses make the most of our growing local economy. We will:
- Continue to work towards the redevelopment of the Bus & Coach Station site, including the delivery of a new, welcoming Bus Station and a new Leisure Centre and Swimming Pool that is fit for the future and accessible to all.
- Support the development of the Exeter Pound local currency to support local businesses and independent traders.
- Work with the University and employers to help businesses benefit from the city’s graduates and create more graduate jobs to attract and retain a skilled workforce.
- Continue to recognise the contribution that culture makes to the Exeter economy, and encourage initiatives that support local businesses, such as new markets, community events and cultural activities.
The Cost of Living Crisis is marking it harder and harder for many families to make ends meet. We want the benefits of economic growth to be shared by all Exeter’s residents. We will:
- Promote the Living Wage and Equal Pay amongst Exeter’s employers.
- Use Local Labour Agreements to increase local jobs and training in construction.
- Continue the City Council apprenticeship scheme introduced by Labour, and ring-fence 2 apprenticeships or work placements for young people with disabilities.
- Continue to fund and support the Exeter and Heart of Devon Employment and Skills Board to work with local businesses to increase the number of apprenticeships and other training opportunities available across the city.
The public sector is changing. We believe that communities can and must be at the heart of designing and delivering the public services of the future. We will:
- Continue to invest in community projects through our Community Grants scheme and work with communities to build capacity for future projects.
- Work in partnership with local residents and organisations to maintain our parks and play areas and explore new ways of working to protect them for the future.
- Promote the Register of Assets of Community Value, which gives communities the first chance to bid for local facilities; everything from playing fields to pubs.
- Work with a Credit Union and other partners to increase access to affordable and ethical credit for local residents.
The need for housing puts growing pressure on our urban green spaces while rising energy prices and the consequences of Climate Change create new challenges for keeping our growing population healthy, happy and prepared for the future. We will:
- Work with partners to promote and improve bus and rail transport in the city, including the new train stations at Newcourt and Marsh Barton, and fight for adequate public transport to meet demand from new housing.
- Protect existing allotments, look for opportunities to provide new allotments and explore the use of public open spaces for community food production.
- Work with the Exeter Health & Wellbeing Board and other partners to increase levels of physical activity in the city, and promote the sustainable use of the river, canal and other green spaces for active lifestyles.
- Protect frontline services by reducing the Council’s energy costs through a range of energy efficiency and energy generation schemes, including solar panels.
- Find new ways of improving recycling rates across the city.
- Work with residents, community groups and local businesses to build a strong legacy of increased physical activity from the Rugby World Cup.