24 November 2017
The Green Party has announced that well-known peace campaigner and union activist, Tom Milburn, will be their candidate in the forthcoming city council by election in Newtown and St Leonards.
Tom has lived in the city centre for 20 years, having first come to Exeter as a student. Tom says that the proliferation of luxury student flats and the future of the bus station site are two major concerns local residents talk about. Tom said:
“The University is vitally important to the city, but recent planning decisions are leading to an over-saturation of luxury student developments especially in the city centre. We need a good mix of types of accommodation, and in particular there is a desperate need for more social housing, especially in the Newtown area of the city.”
Tom is scathing about the Labour-led City council’s bus station redevelopment plans:
“What a hugely expensive fiasco this has turned into. The city council must now rethink its plans. A new state-of-the-art swimming pool would be great, but this could be less expensive and doesn’t need to have gym facilities.
“In particular we need to revisit plans for the bus station. This must accommodate not only buses, but coaches too. It must also be able to cope with expansion as we move away from over-reliance on the car and more people choose to use public transport instead.”
Tom believes that residents of Exeter support a very different vision for this area of the city to the one that the Labour-led council are pushing for:
“We know from our own surveying that the Green Party idea of creating a market square is a very popular one. A space that is able to showcase the best of Devon’s food, drink and locally-produced goods and celebrate the city’s multiculturism and diversity; somewhere small local businesses and community enterprises can thrive. It is clear there is no public appetite for a Princesshay 2 with ever more chain stores and overpriced boutiques - and we certainly don’t need another cinema in the area.”
Tom praised Chris Musgrave, the Green Party’s first councillor on the City Council:
“Cllr Chris Musgrave is doing a great job holding Labour to account, especially over residents’ concerns over planning issues. Cllr Musgrave is putting forward bold solutions to the problems Exeter faces, especially over the city’s appalling air quality and congestion.”
“The Labour Party on Exeter City Council are complacent and don’t listen to residents’ concerns. The Conservatives don’t present a realistic opposition and are the Party of savage austerity cuts. We need strong Green Party voices on the council to challenge wrong decisions and bring positive solutions.”
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