Newtown & St Leonards - Your Labour Candidate

Matt Vizard - Newtown & St Leonards - Your Labour Candidate
Contact Matt Vizard

I am delighted to have been re-selected as your Labour candidate for the May 2022 City Council elections. It has been a privilege to represent the area where I grew up and now live with my family.

People have faced very challenging circumstances during the pandemic, but our community stepped up in so many ways. Exeter City Council’s dedicated Exeter Community Wellbeing hub has played a vital role, connecting organisations and volunteers with individuals in need.

This same spirit shines through St Leonards Neighbourhood and Newtown Community Associations. Through our ward councillors’ grant, I am pleased to have been able to support a number of community projects, including music groups, community planting schemes and the much-loved Magdalen Road Christmas Fair.

Green issues and Exeter’s net-zero Carbon 2030 Target are my priorities. We must value and protect our parks and green spaces more than ever. I am pleased to have helped deliver the fantastic new community building in Belmont Park and new play equipment for both Belmont and Bull Meadow parks. Together, our community, has seen off threats to Bull Meadow and Mount Radford Lawn. I have spoken against unwanted and unsuitable developments and will continue to do so. The council has listened to residents and protected the Green Space at Clifton Hill while delivering some of the high-quality homes we need.

I look forward to speaking with many of you over the coming months. If there is anything you would like to raise with me, my councillor colleagues or Ben Bradshaw, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Your Labour team is always here to help.

Matt is an experienced Exeter City Councillor whose terms of office are:

  • 14/12/2017 – 08/05/2018
  • 08/05/2018 – 09/05/2022

Many of you have told us how important green issues are to you. I agree. A greener, safer, healthier city remains my priority. My family have given up our car and are now members of Co-Cars for journeys that we can’t make on foot or public transport. My children take the bus and scoot to Isca Academy from our home in College Road which has solar pv panels fitted. I want to assure you that, for me, being a Labour councillor means being a green councillor.

Labour-run Exeter City Council has been leading the way on climate action, protecting biodiversity and the environment while remaining true to our social justice values and our commitment to health and wellbeing, including building new council homes and leisure facilities for the people of Exeter.

Environmental journalist and climate expert Zion Lights was once a Green Party member. She is now a Labour colleague and councillor in Pennsylvania who firmly believes the answers to our problems come from having Labour representatives locally and nationally.

“The Labour-led City Council has quietly been paving the way on climate action. This first came to my attention when I learned about their Passivhaus-standard homes*. The initial driver for the Council was social justice concerns – to combat fuel poverty – however, these houses will also help meet recently set net zero goals. The Council has developed over 100 certified Passivhaus homes, including the UK’s first multi-residential Passivhaus development in 2010. Over 60% of residents of these homes have never needed to switch on their heating. The Council is developing its own retrofitting service to bring all of its homes up to the same energy efficiency by 2030 and is fitting solar panels on almost all of its buildings. This scheme has been in progress since 2014, well before national and global net zero date ambitions were being set. It would be accurate to call these undertakings visionary”. (Cllr Zion Lights)

* See for more information.

Here are just some of Labour-run Exeter City Council’s other policies, initiatives, and achievements:

  • * Declared a Climate Emergency and committed to a Net Zero Carbon 2030 plan for Exeter.
  • * Built St Sidwell’s Point, the UK’s first Passivhaus leisure centre, opening this spring.
  • * Rolling out kerbside food waste collection
  • * Replacing the council’s fleet with electric vehicles to be powered by our solar park.
  • * Introduced kerbside collections for coffee pod recycling.
  • * Protected our green spaces, including Northbrook and the Clifton Hill green space.
  • * Invested in Belmont Park and Bull Meadow.
  • * Placed our valley parks in the safe hands of Devon Wildlife Trust.
  • * Planted over 12,000 new trees since 2000 and are replacing those lost to Ash Dieback disease.
  • * Continued its commitment to allotments with an impressive 1,485 across the City.
  • * Our marine plastic recycling partnership helps towards keeping local beaches and waters plastic-free.
  • * Exeter 1st in UK Clean Cities Index assessed on air quality, climate, water quality, public realm and green behaviour.


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