Greens present Labour with climate and nature challenge

Greens have thrown down a series of challenges for the Labour-led City Council in the wake of Labour claims to be “leading the way on climate action and protecting biodiversity [1]”.

Green councillor, Diana Moore said: “Labour’s green spin has been going into overdrive lately. So, we are setting the Labour-led council a series of challenges to see how serious they really are about the climate and ecological emergencies facing us.

Exeter Green Party has laid out five key challenges for a future Labour-led council on green spaces, air pollution, active travel, housing and waste.

Challenge 1: Guarantee that no future development in the city will be on green spaces. 

Dan Grey, City Council candidate for Newtown and St Leonard’s, said:

“Labour has failed to guarantee that green spaces are safe from development, especially with its ‘Liveable Exeter’ building plans. We challenge Labour to pledge to safeguard our valuable green spaces for wildlife, biodiversity and recreation.”

Challenge 2: Work together with Devon County Council to introduce measures to reduce air pollution to safe levels as recommended by the World Health Organisation to ensure air quality does not impact on health.

Andrew Bell, County Council candidate for St David’s and Haven Banks, said: 

“Labour-run Exeter City Council and Tory dominated Devon County Council must stop playing political ping-pong, blaming each other for inaction over tackling Exeter’s dirty air. We need the two councils to work seriously together to take the bold measures needed to reduce transport emissions in the city and make Exeter a Clean Air Zone.”

Challenge 3: Work together with Devon County Council to reallocate space away from traffic and develop Low Traffic Neighbourhoods so everyone can walk and cycle safely. 

Lizzie Woodman, County Council candidate for Heavitree and Whipton Barton, said: 

“We need our neighbourhoods redesigned, so space is taken away from motorised traffic to make them safe for anyone to cycle and everyone to walk or use a wheelchair.”

Challenge 4: The new Local Plan to include a requirement that all future housing developments will be net zero carbon. 

Amy Sparling, City Council candidate for St David’s, said:

“As Exeter City Council finally begins developing a new Local Plan, we call on Labour to include a requirement that developers build net zero carbon neighbourhoods.”  

Challenge 5: Rapid introduction of stalled kerbside food waste collections and work towards increasing the recycling rate from 26% to 70% within five years.

Catherine Rees, City Council candidate for Heavitree, said: 

“Labour have stalled on introducing kerbside food waste collections. We need this introduced as a matter of urgency and there needs to be concerted actions to move Exeter from a dismal 26% recycling rate to a 70% rate as rapidly as possible.”  

Cllr Moore concluded:

“No amount of spin can hide these challenges. Actions such as these are essential if Exeter is to become a net zero carbon city by 2030. We know what needs to be done – so let’s see our councils get on with it.'”


[1] Campaign literature delivered to residents in Newtown and St Leonard’s and other parts of the city.


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