Leader's column: Collaboration and co-living will create sustainable future
Published: 15 August 2019
It has continued to be a busy time both for myself and for everyone at the City Council.
I have recently had the opportunity to meet leaders of some of the city’s key organisations and institutions, and it’s always inspiring to discover how they share the same vision and aspirations for Exeter as we all do.
As a city we need to keep moving forward. And that’s not just growth. Growth is important – sustainable growth that benefits the residents, businesses and community in Exeter is very important.
But it is not just about sustainable growth, it’s how we live. The way we can really continue the success of the city is through collaboration with key businesses and institutions in Exeter.
As a City Council there is much we can do to benefit all of us in Exeter. But we can’t do it all on our own. We have been successful at bringing together all those who share our vision in order to make things happen.
We have an excellent working relationship with the business community and the Chamber of Commerce, and we are working in the interests of everybody in the city. Collaboration therefore is key. Working with the RD&E, the police, the University, Exeter College, the Met Office and other key organisations, is so important.
As part of our Liveable Exeter programme – which aims to deliver ambitious plans for creating active neighbourhoods and building more than 11,000 new homes in the city over the next 20 years - we will be establishing a strategic board with key players in the city in order to harness the investment the city needs to go forward.
We have been collaborating already – the Exeter Strategic Sport Board is a good example. It is a close working relationship with the college, university, football club, Exeter Chiefs and other local authorities. We are working closely with the Devon FA and the Football Association over football pitches in Exeter, for example.
By having that big conversation we have a greater impact for the city. This will be so important in tackling climate change.
The city has an ambitious target to be carbon neutral by 2030 - but we can’t do it alone. We need these key players in order to help. But the most important player of all is you, the reader. We can’t so anything without your collaboration, without your support.
It’s been a very busy time since I became leader and I believe we have achieved a lot already. But we have no intention of slowing down, there is still a lot that we need to achieve.
Recently I have had a number of meetings with councillors and officers of the council with regard to our policy on purpose built student accommodation.
I’ve also had meetings with developers. And I am already getting commitments from some for co-living, which means that purpose built accommodation would be open to anybody and everybody, and this could be a big benefit for hard working people in Exeter, to have decent accommodation in the heart of the city.
It is early days, but I am hoping to have some good news which will help our aim of having balanced and sustainable communities in our city centre.
This is what we want to achieve – balanced and sustainable communities in Exeter – and I look forward to progressing our plans in the coming months.