Agenda and draft minutes

Virtual, Exeter Strategic Board - Thursday 12th November 2020 5.30 pm

Venue: Legislation has been passed that allows Council's to conduct Committee meetings remotely

Contact: Howard Bassett, Democratic Services Officer (Committees)  01392 265107 or email

No. Item


Election of Chair and Deputy Chair

The office of Chair and Deputy Chair alternates between the County Council and City Council, with the previous year’s Deputy becoming Chair the following year. Last year, the Chair and Deputy were Exeter City Council and Devon County Council Members respectively.



In accordance with the agreement that the Chairmanship and Deputy Chairmanship should alternate annually between the City and County Councils, it was:-




(1)     Councillor Leadbetter be appointed Chair for 2020/21; and


(2)     Councillor Bialyk be appointed Deputy Chair for 2020/21.      








An apology for absence was received from Councillor Prowse.





Minutes of the meeting held on 14 November 2019 pdf icon PDF 132 KB


The minutes of the meeting held on 14 November 2019 were taken as read and approved as correct, for signing by the Chair at the earliest possible convenience.





Councillor John Hart, Leader Devon County Council - Autumn Budget Statement


The Chair welcomed Councillor John Hart, Leader of Devon County Council, who presented the County Council Autumn Budget.


He highlighted the following:-


·         total County budget of up to £1.2 billion all allocated for services with no surplus. Current year’s budget is £542,800 million with approximately £550 million allocated for schools;

·         £43.5 million Government allocation for Covid and awaiting detail of further Government funding support in addition to extra £6.4 million given for test and trace;

·         huge financial pressures on the Council across adult and children services budgets and particularly in the SENDS (Special Education Needs and Disability) budget with an overspend of £24.5 million anticipated for this financial year on which Government advice is awaited;

·         pressure on adult services with 330 care homes for 8,500 people, 2,500 supported by the County Council, the service helped by a 2% grant increase in last two years;

·         County budget may increase by up to 5.5 % necessitating a 2% Council Tax increase, dependent on Government allocation;

·         35,000 people shielding with 7,000 supplied with food in the first Lockdown during which time Team Devon comprising the County, Districts and other agencies had been very successful in supporting the people of Devon;

·         guidance is awaited from the Government for the County Council to finalise its plan to feed 14,700 young people over the Christmas period


He responded as follows to Members’ queries:-


·         66 local authorities had been chosen as test and trace pilots, only four being Shire Councils, Devon being one and already working with Public Health Devon in readiness. On-going tests in Liverpool with 130,000 tested to date with less than 1% being carriers and the half hour test more accurate than anticipated;

·         some concerns over the self-isolation grant of £500 when some may be reluctant to take the test to avoid impact on jobs/earning capacity;

·         every effort made to secure funding from Central Government for example North Devon Link Road, the South Devon Link Road, Exeter College Flybe Academy and infrastructure support for the west of Exeter including the road network and a new school. Will continue to combat apparent greater focus on other areas such as Bristol and Bath and to continue pressure to achieve completion of the second strategic link to the South West as supported by the Consortium of South West Councils.


Councillor Leadbetter left the meeting at 6:00pm and the Chair was taken by Councillor Bialyk, the Deputy Chair.


·         Uncertainty over a no deal Brexit, issues including free port status for Plymouth and Exeter Airport and need for haulage companies to change administrative systems. The Brexit Bill has been amended by the House of Lords for imported food to be of the same standard of production as in UK. The green farming agenda Continued support for farming community is important to ensure production of own food and the continuation of grazing across Dartmoor;

·         Climate Change initiatives include the provision of £700,000 for a further street lighting upgrade in the next 12 months;

·         main thrust of the County Council’s Transport  ...  view the full minutes text for item 4.


Dates of Future Meetings

Thursday 28 January 2021

Thursday 17 June 2021

Thursday 16 September 2021

Thursday 11 November 2021

Thursday 27 January 2022

Thursday 16 June 2022

Thursday 22 September 2021





The following dates of future Board meetings were noted, all commencing at 5.30pm.


Thursday 28 January 2021

Thursday 17 June 2021

Thursday 16 September 2021

Thursday 11 November 2021

Thursday 27 January 2022

Thursday 16 June 2022

Thursday 22 September 2022