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We have the summer season coming up and things are looking good for Exeter

Published: 30 June 2021

We have the summer season coming up and things are looking good for Exeter Leader of the Council, Councillor Philip Bialyk

Like everyone else in Exeter I was gutted that the Chiefs weren’t able to win at Twickenham at the weekend. But six finals in a row is an incredible achievement.

I am very proud to support Exeter and proud of everything they have done for the city, including the fantastic work of their Community Foundation, which gave us great support in helping people through the Covid crisis.

Sport is very important to our city, and next season we will be right behind the Chiefs again, just like we will be right behind Exeter City.

We have got a lot to look forward to as lockdown comes to an end. I do hope we will be able to unlock safely and securely going forward. We still need to think about other people when we are out and about and there may still be some restrictions that the Government want us to stick to - if they do we must continue to keep to the guidelines.

We have the summer season coming up and things are looking good for Exeter. We want to be right behind our businesses and take full advantage of the end of lockdown. Together with the Chief Executive I am working with the Chamber of Commerce and Exeter BID and refocussing our efforts on recovery, which is so important.

I can’t wait for the reopening of the Riverside pool on July 24 – yes it really is finally reopening - and I’m really looking forward to it. Major works have gone on there and it is looking really great. We had to invest heavily to make sure it a safe and secure place and - Covid permitting - it will be fully reopen in a few weeks, which is fantastic news for everyone.

Read more: Key workers will be first to swim in new look Riverside swimming pool

Anyone who has been in the city centre recently will have noticed the new leisure centre and new bus station, which is ready to open shortly. As an ex-bus driver I will really appreciate the brand new facility. We have come a long way from the old bus station in Paul Street from the early 1960s. So we have got a lot to look forward to.

We are still ahead with our programme of building new Council homes to the highest environmental standard. We are developing a retrofit programme for our existing housing stock and working with many of our partners throughout the city on how we can extend retrofit to private householders. We want to develop a retrofit company and also a residential property company which will rent houses in the private sector. We want to be an influencer in that market.  

Read more: Tackling the Climate Emergency in Exeter with retrofit programme

I have had a lot of people writing to me and talking to me about graffiti in Exeter. I too am appalled by the graffiti. We spend in excess of our budget – around £120,000 last year – on graffiti removal. We just can’t go around removing it arbitrarily off people’s walls, we have to seek their permission, and it is the same with different agencies who own property in Exeter. Some respond quicker than others.

It is a blight and not art in my view. I want to see it removed and we are doing everything we can to get it removed. Please bear with us as we work through this. I am upset about this like everyone else is, and I don’t want to see it.

At this time of year opinion is often split between what is biodiversity in some people’s view and overgrown grass in the view of others. We have to strike a balance, and we are doing our best here. But there is no doubt that people appreciate the wild flowers that are now in full bloom on our roundabouts, which brightens our city, and I know that a lot of people appreciate the hard work our teams at the Council put into this.

Next week it’s Executive and we have a lot on the agenda, including a trial to collect food waste in the city.  So as ever there is much to do and much to look forward to as we continue to work with our partners across the city for the benefit of everyone in Exeter.

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