The Leader presented the update to the Council’s 2018-21 Corporate Plan which set out the following five priorities:-
· Delivering Net Zero Exeter 2030;
· Promoting Active and Healthy Lifestyles;
· Building great neighbourhoods;
· Providing value for money services; and
· Leading a well-run Council.
The five priorities which, together with the recent structural changes within the Council, would ensure that Exeter, notwithstanding the severe financial challenges being faced by the Council, was in the best position to continue its economic recovery from the Covid-19 crisis, whilst ensuring that the commitment to the Council’s climate change strategy remained at the top of the agenda.
A number of Members welcomed the Plan and made the following points:-
· the Council’s commitment to its own house building programme through Exeter City Living was central to building great neighbourhoods which, together with building to Passivhaus standards and the retrofit programme, also contributed to the Net Zero Exeter 2030 goal;
· a Housing Needs Assessment Survey had recently been completed and was being assessed with a view to briefing Members on the results;
· the Council was bringing forward and supporting a variety of housing options in response to changing UK living trends particularly in respect of private sector rented accommodation. Supporting a variety of social housing provision as well as co-living and purpose built student accommodation was necessary to meet the demand, including from younger people;
· the first three bullet points above will be used as the basis for consulting with the wider community in bringing forward the Plan; and
· the Portfolio Holder for Net Zero Exeter 2030 reiterated that achieving carbon neutrality was front and centre to the Council’s ambitions and a vital part of the Council’s work going forward. She emphasised that Exeter was in the vanguard of this nationwide challenge, was working with a broad range of organisations and that it was one of the few Council’s in the country to have set out a road map that was both deliverable and practical. The St. Sidwell’s Point Swimming Pool and Leisure Centre, the first of its kind in the country being delivered to Passivhaus standard, was one example of the Council’s commitment to Net Zero.
The Opposition Leader also welcomed the Plan and referred in particular to the aspirations around promoting active and healthy lifestyles.
The Leader, referencing two questions from a Member, confirmed that the outcomes of the Housing Needs Survey would be brought forward to inform the commitment to providing decent housing accommodation for all in the city and that Exeter City Living was central to this. Also, in response to the Member’s question in respect of consultation with stakeholders and communities, he confirmed that all Members, in their role as representatives of the electorate, were committed to comprehensive engagement.
He commended the Plan to Members.
The Leader moved and the Deputy Leader seconded the recommendations and they were carried.
(1) Council approves the Corporate Plan Autumn 2020 update; and
(2) any necessary drafting amendments before publication be delegated to the Chief Executive & Growth Director, in consultation with the Leader of the Council.