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Exeter focussed on recovery and its key priorities for the year ahead

Published: 24 March 2021

Exeter focussed on recovery Council Leader Phil Bialyk

Exeter is well placed to recover strongly from the pandemic and will continue to focus on its key priorities of creating a healthy, active and sustainable city, Council Leader Phil Bialyk said today.

A year after the start of the first lockdown, work is now in full swing to welcome back shoppers on April 12, if Government guidance allows.

The City has been boosted by the announcement that John Lewis intends to keep its flagship store in Exeter.

Cllr Bialyk said: “As we reflect on the past year, which has been quite hard for everyone, we now need to look forward. We are working on the Recovery Plan and the recovery of our city centre, and we need to focus on the year and years ahead.

“We are working with businesses and agencies in the city on our recovery, because the city centre is so important for the economy.

“Over the next 12 months the key priorities are finishing of St Sidwell’s Point, getting the new bus station operational and getting the Riverside pool reopened. These are major investments that we have made here in Exeter, which will improve physical activity and the health and wellbeing of residents in Exeter. “

He added: “Our parks and open space spaces are even more important now for the health and wellbeing of everyone in Exeter.

“We have a lot of parks in the city and we are committed to maintaining them and keeping them open, which our team has done very well throughout the year.

“We continue to bring land into public open space and we are going to keep and maintain our public open space portfolio.”

Cllr Bialyk said Net Zero 2030 is a top priority, and the Council is committed to building high quality, low energy new council homes.

He said: “We are advancing our programme of building council homes here in Exeter - that’s 500 low carbon energy-efficient homes which reduce fuel bills for people.”

Cllr Bialyk said Exeter remains well placed to recover from the pandemic.

“All the statistics in the past point to the fact that Exeter is a booming city - we have always done well and I think we will recover well.

“But it doesn’t just happen. It happens by us working with the Chamber of Commerce, working with businesses and the key stakeholders in the city to make it happen, and ensure that we have a good, thriving city.

“We have got a lot of work to do in this city, we want to engage a lot of people. There is also a lot of opportunity to change things and to build back better, to take a look at ourselves and how we take things forward, and that is what we will be doing at the council constantly.”

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