Exeter Green Party call for support to local business during centre’s redevelopment

8 August 2014

Exeter Green Party is warning that local and independent businesses could be pushed out of the city centre as a result of its redevelopment.

Members of Exeter Green Party discuss plans for the bus station site with leader Natalie BennettGreens are concerned that the redevelopment of the bus station site, Sidwell Street and Paris street areas will aim to attract more chains and national brands and so squeeze out local and independent businesses and retailers.

The local Green Party argues that local businesses need to become the centrepiece of Exeter’s economy; the Party opposes further expansion of chain stores in the city. Greens say the council will need to offer a real commitment to support smaller independent retailers if Exeter is to move away from its clone town image to a strong mixed economy – and do not believe that commitment has been made so far.

Green Party spokesperson, Andrew Bell, said:

“The Green Party in Exeter has consistently called for a new market square as part of the redevelopments. We would like to see a ‘Best of Devon Quarter’ that would showcase and support small local business, with an area of flexible units for local producers and retailers, crafts, charities and social enterprises. It would also celebrate Exeter’s diversity and create a distinct local offer.”

Greens say they support the rejuvenation of Exeter’s city centre, with an eco-standard swimming pool at its heart. The redeveloped Bus and Coach Station at the Paris Street Roundabout is also welcomed but, Greens argue, cheaper fares and better integration with Exeter’s rail network are needed if it’s to be a real benefit to the city’s communities.

Other policies for the city from the Exeter Green Party manifesto [1] include:

  • Push for the introduction of preferential business rates for small local businesses and social enterprises
  • Campaign for better local advice and support services for local business and social enterprises
  • Support the introduction of a local currency for Exeter following successful models such as the Bristol Pound