Labour failing to grasp seriousness of local business Co-Cars going under, say Greens

Green Party co-leader of the opposition in Exeter, Diana Moore, has criticised Exeter City Council for failing to meet with local enterprise Co-Cars to discuss what support they might need to rework their business model and continue operation in the city. Co-Cars, including Co-Bikes, ceased trading last week citing financial difficulties brought on by the Covid pandemic and spiralling energy costs, both of which have led to increased running costs and a drop in demand for their cars and bikes.

Councillor Moore approached Exeter City Council leader Phil Bialyk to press for a meeting between the Council and Co-Cars, but the Council said they do not have the financial ability to be able to support the enterprise. She said:

“I have used Co-Cars in the past so I know how much it means to so many people in the city. Noone has suggested the Council bailout Co-Cars. But a meeting to discuss the difficulties the business faces and to explore what support might be offered to revise their business model is surely a reasonable request. Also, understanding the impact on the numerous developments that have incorporated Co-cars and Co-Bikes is surely in the city's interests.

"The Labour-run Council were only too keen to showcase Co-Cars when the going was good, but now they have hit hard times it seems they don’t want to know. It is frankly baffling that they have refused a meeting with a local business."

“While a new operator for the bike scheme may yet be found, the loss of the car club part of the business will have huge impacts on hundreds of people in Exeter. Those who can’t or choose not to own a car and have relied on Co-Cars when they need a vehicle are going to be massively affected. 

“The Labour administration needs to realise just how serious the implications of Co-Cars going under are. Car clubs are a key part of low carbon and low car developments. This is a huge loss for many individuals and households and the environment.”