Exeter Green Party Manifesto 2018

The Green Party is the truly progressive voice in both local and national politics.

We are bringing creative thinking and new solutions to councils across Britain.

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A Refreshing Change

Our first priority is to ensure a better run Exeter City Council and that your council tax is spent more wisely.

Green Councillors will provide robust challenge, ensure alternatives are explored, and raise the quality of debate and decision making.

More Green Councillors will provide a much-needed strong opposition to the long-standing Labour majority that have run the City Council for many years. Active opposition councillors are essential to ensure that the council will have to listen and work more closely with residents, taking other views into account and taking better decisions together

Our priorities for Exeter

  • A modern market in the city centre, a fit for purpose bus and coach station - including the refurbishment of the current bus and coach station to be an option and the new Leisure Centre to be run by the council.
  • Immediate action to tackle Exeter’s poor air quality.
  • Truly affordable housing to rent and buy – including community-owned housing and affordable student accommodation.
  • A fresh approach to transport in the city which makes walking, cycling and using public transport as attractive, easy and safe as possible and creates ‘living streets’ in neighbourhoods.
  • Protection of local services and the Council’s, Fire, Police and Health budgets.
  • A more open, inclusive and accountable Council which engages directly with communities rather than “consult” them on decisions already taken.
  • A stronger say for communities in the planning system.

We will challenge the Labour Council’s broken promises

Green Councillors will offer proper challenge on Labour’s costly mistakes, broken promises and decisions being taken in secret:

  • Ensure that the City and County Councils work together and with greater transparency,  on tackling Exeter’s severe transport and related air pollution issues.
  • Revisit the priorities for the bus station site to ensure a fit for purpose bus and coach station - including the refurbishment of the current bus and coach station to be an option and the new Leisure Centre to be run by the Council.
  • Push for the promised introduction of food waste recycling. The promise to introduce it has gone up in smoke as Labour recommends polluting incineration over weekly collections.

We work hard and achieve things

We work hard, regularly challenging poor policies and suggesting better ones. Many of Exeter Green Party’s proposals are now being implemented:

  • In 2010 we called for solar panels to be installed on Council property, including car park rooves.
  • Devon County Council designated more roads in Exeter as 20mph zones following Green Party campaigns.
  • Our leadership led to the separate collection of food waste being seriously examined after every party signed up to it in 2016.
  • The Work Place Parking Levy has been included as a measure in the City Council’s draft Air Quality Action Plan following the involvement of Green Cllr Chris Musgrave.
  • The City Council has improved the information on air pollution on its website as a result of our lobbying.

Exeter Green Party Manifesto 2018

Local CommunitiesHelp local communities flourish

A better run council – democratic, local people have a say on issues that affect them. Stronger networks of people, groups and neighbourhood level activities available

We will:

  • Involve communities at an early stage when planning new housing and other major developments Encourage community neighbourhood action, and community and social enterprises.
  • Welcome and support refugees to the city.
  • Ensure local business voices – from largest to the smallest - are heard in shaping economic strategy affecting their local area.
  • Create a more open, inclusive and accountable Council which engages directly with communities rather than “consult” them on decisions already taken.
  • Increase transparency over council decision making and appointment and scrutiny of decisions.
  • Increase public participation making consultations, including over budgets, meaningful and ensure communities are involved in decisions that affect them.
  • Publish all Freedom of Information requests and responses, councillors’ expenses and council partnerships on the council’s website.
  • Celebrate and strengthen Exeter’s diverse and multi-cultural communities.

Everyday LivesImproving everyday lives

Genuinely affordable housing to rent or buy, supporting the local economy and sports and leisure facilities, making getting about safe, easy and affordable.

We will:

  • Invest in council and community-led housing to provide affordable zero carbon homes, and prioritise housing for the homeless and young people.
  • A fit for purpose bus and coach station - including considering the refurbishment of the current bus and coach station.
  • A modern, covered market and market square in the city centre.
  • Better local advice and support for small businesses and social enterprises.
  • Introduce preferential retail business rates, to be used as needed, to increase the proportion of independent shops run by local business and social enterprises.
  • Make all of our streets safe and attractive for pedestrians; create neighbourhood ‘living streets’ where children can play; improve access for people with disabilities.
  • Introduce a coherent cycle network - with priority being given to completing ‘missing links’ and improving dangerous junctions.
  • Campaign for public transport to be more affordable and connect together better.
  • Push for Exeter to become a 20mph city, making it safer and easier to walk and cycle. Introduce self-enforcing 20mph zones to all, and any, residential street where residents support this.
  • Work to persuade Devon County Council to introduce a workplace parking levy on the city’s largest employers, beginning with parking at the Civic Centre. This will secure a large, ring-fenced regular income stream to be spent on improving non-car travel e.g. more buses, protected cycle routes, more car clubs.
  • Protect and expand cultural and tourist activities and events in the city.
  • Support Exeter Pound, the local currency for Exeter, to help local businesses thrive and keep money circulating in the community.

Our FutureOur environment

Creating a better future for generations of Exeter residents. Cleaner air to breathe, less waste, use of local resources and a better planning system.

We will:

  • Create ‘liveable neighbourhoods’, so that people can enjoy and use their street space.
  • Promote energy efficiency measures for houses and businesses and support community led renewable energy.
  • Oppose more ‘clone town Exeter’: oppose more chains and out of town retail developments and support local economic centres, especially in new developments.
  • Ensure developers, including developers of purpose-built student developments contribute their fair share to the infrastructure required to cope with the growth of Exeter.
  • Explore ‘brownfield’ development such as turning single storey car parks into affordable low-car housing developments and prioritise bringing empty houses back into use.
  • Work to reduce the amount of rubbish generated by residents & businesses and introduce a food waste collection.
  • Increase recycling levels to 60% in 4 years and generate income from waste disposal and processing.
  • Back measures to end Single Use Plastic in Exeter.
  • Protect Exeter’s public green spaces & parks and support local involvement in them. Protect and expand food growing land and allotments.
  • Ban the use of damaging weed-killers by the City Council.
  • Work for Exeter to become a zero carbon city by 2050.
  • Divest the Council’s funds from fossil fuels and nuclear and invest in sustainable and renewable opportunities.
  • Reduce energy use and improve energy efficiency in City Council buildings. Press for 100% of electricity used in Exeter City Council offices to come from renewable sources.

Public ServicesServices run for people, not profit

Protecting public services and ensuring they are run in the interests and welfare of everyone. 

We will:

  • Support action against the bedroom tax and evictions arising as a result of the bedroom tax.
  • Invest in council and community-led housing to provide affordable zero carbon homes, and prioritise housing for the homeless and young people.
  • Take action to tackle fuel poverty, prioritising the most vulnerable and hard to heat homes.
  • Protect local services and challenge cuts to the Councils, Fire and Police and Health budgets.
  • Set a high standard for Council contracts, ensuring the Real Living Wage is paid and no use of zero hours contracts.
  • Support services to help people deal with debt, crises resulting from welfare cuts and the move to Universal Credit.
  • Increase funding for activities to engage and encourage children and young people.
  • Ensure support the most vulnerable groups in the city including those in debt and women and children seeking refuge from domestic violence.
  • Ensure new contracts for some key services are taken back into council control e..g the proposed new swimming pool in the city centre.

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Promoted and published by Chris Dent for and on behalf of Exeter Green Party, 5 North Avenue Exeter EX1 2DU