Councillors discussing the damaged sewer
Councillors discussing the damaged sewer

Exeter City Councillors for Newtown and St Leonard’s Ward, Richard Branston and Matthew Vizard, Cllr Carol Whitton (Devon County Councillor St David’s and Haven Banks) and Ben Bradshaw MP have written an open letter to the Chief Executive of South West Water to raise public concerns about the lack of action to repair Larkbeare sewer.

It has been more than four years since the discovery of issues with the condition of Larkbeare sewer, which runs beneath Bull Meadow park and Temple Road, in the St Leonards area of Exeter. The local Labour representatives have called on South West Water to resolve this long-standing issue so that the fencing can be removed, and the park and road restored for use.

Newtown and St Leonards Exeter City Councillor, Richard Branston said:

“I am deeply frustrated that this matter remains unresolved, and that efforts by Exeter City
Council and Devon County Council to resolve it have been met with silence from South West
Water for more than 18 months. “Local residents and park users have a right to an explanation from South West Water and, more importantly, action, so that their park and local road can be fully restored. I await
South West Water’s response with interest.”

Devon County Councillor Carol Whitton said:

“Residents in Temple Road have been inconvenienced for far too long by South West Water’s
failure to take responsibility for essential repairs to this sewer. A significant portion of the
road has been fenced off for more than four years now, restricting access for residents and
reducing much needed parking in the area.”

“It really is time South West Water faced up to their responsibilities and repaired the sewer
so that the unsightly fencing can be removed, and the lives of residents can return to
normal.”

Newtown and St Leonards city councillor Matt Vizard said:

“Bull Meadow park is a precious city centre green space. Exeter City Council have
consistently challenged South West Water to resolve the issues with the sewer and have had
no choice but to fence off these areas for reasons of public safety.

“This has been going on long enough – residents and park users have been remarkably
patient but are increasingly frustrated by a lack of resolution. We hope they will join us in
raising their concerns with South West Water.”

Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw said:

“I fully support residents and their Labour councillors’ campaign to restore the fenced off
areas of Bull Meadow park and Temple Road for the public.

“Local residents and park users, including many children, are the ones who have to put up
with this situation.  I hope South West Water will acknowledge this and resolve the issue.”

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