Agenda item

Portfolio Holder Priorities 2017/18 - Year end report

Councillors Edwards (Leader and Portfolio Holder (Growth and City Development) Councillor Harvey (Portfolio Holder Place & Commercialisation) Councillor Bialyk (Portfolio Holder Health and Wellbeing, Communities & Sport) Councillor Denham (Portfolio Holder City Transformation) and Councillor Sutton (Portfolio Holder Economy & Culture) to present half yearly updates for 2017/18.


Updates on the priorities of the Portfolio Holders for Place, City Transformation Energy & Transport, City Development, Health and Wellbeing, Communities & Sport and Economy and Culture respectively for 2017/18 were presented.


Leader and Growth and City Development


The Leader and Portfolio Holder for Growth and City Development presented the updates for City Development.


Place & Commercialisation


The Portfolio Holder for Place & Commercialisation highlighted the following areas:-

  • ongoing consideration of options for increasing recycling rates and the opportunity to pursue a business case for future investment in the City’s Material Reclamation Facility (MRF);
  • the excellent news of an improved cleansing regime of the city centre; and
  • the play facilities at the King George V Playing Fields, funded from a variety of sources, had been designed to benefit all of the local community, and hopefully following the approach would be replicated across the city.


The Portfolio Holder noted a Member’s comment on the West Garth Play area. He also responded to comments on the opportunity to improve recycling rates amongst the student population.  Officers liaised with Exeter University throughout the year and worked to encourage the student population to be more proactive in managing their rubbish and recycling.  Other initiatives included additional rubbish collections at the end of term, including purpose built student accommodation with the appropriate number of bins.  The Director (DB) added that additional recycling bins and a series of educational campaigns, the latest of which was about to commence with the new cohort of students, had all resulted in an improved situation.


The Portfolio Holder also confirmed that Faithfull & Gould had finished a study on the Belle Isle site. The Director (DB) added that improvements to the welfare facilities were proposed and a report to Committee would be made at the appropriate time.


A Member congratulated the Portfolio Holder and the team for the excellent recycling service in Exeter.


City Transformation


The Portfolio Holder for City Transformation reported the following updates:-

·         the establishment of a Transport Steering Group with representatives from both the City and County Councils with an intention by Stagecoach to look at a data sharing agreement for specific projects;  and

·        a workshop hosted by the Exeter Cycling Campaign had produced 28 recommendations, which were accepted in principle, as well as a commitment to share good practice,  and improve future engagement and communication to hopefully see real action on the ground.


In response to Members’ questions, the Portfolio Holder responded as follows:-


·         she welcomed the report and presentation from Exeter City Futures which set out the stance to reduce the city’s congestion, and to look about doing things in a different way, along with advice from like-minded individuals in the start-up support at Exeter City Futures; and  

·         she acknowledged the relationship between congestion and air quality, and the air quality around surrounding roads such as the Heavitree Road or Alphington corridors presented a challenge due to the built constraints around the roads. Change would not happen overnight, and physical improvements to the network would be difficult, but it was important to improve the community for both pedestrians and cyclists and reduce the conflict with traffic by potentially creating corridors that were not dominated by cars. It was important to continue to take the right approach including offering transport alternatives and build on the good existing transport links to the city centre.


Economy and Culture


The Portfolio Holder for Economy and Culture reported the following updates:-


·         support for the Innovation Exeter programme and the submission to establish an Institute of Technology within the city, with Exeter College and the University as partners; 

·         the consolidation of the work with Exeter City Futures; and

·         the meshing of shared objectives as part of the inclusive growth agenda which had been successful in attracting hi-tech companies and academic research and scientists. It was an ambition that everyone who lived in the city had the best possible opportunity for employment, and for the city to grow its own world academics. The recent Jobs Fair offered a greater focus on the skills agenda, and was well supported by employers and potential employers.


Health & Wellbeing, Communities & Sport


The report for the Portfolio Holder for Health & Wellbeing, Communities & Sport was presented.


Place Scrutiny Committee noted the reports of the Portfolio Holders.


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