Exeter City Council Leader, Phil Bialyk, provides an introduction to both this Manifesto and the Council Strategic Plan it shapes.

This Labour administration led the Council to declare a climate emergency in Exeter and as a result has set the ambitious target of creating a Net Zero Carbon city by 2030. This will be at the heart of everything we do going forward. We have also experienced the Covid-19 crisis, which continues to have an impact on all of our lives in a way that would have been almost impossible to imagine before the outbreak. I am extremely proud of the way our city is responding to the crisis. Residents, communities and organisations across Exeter have come together during lockdown to look after and support each other during the most difficult times. This work is ongoing, as it becomes obvious that the virus is something that we are going to have to learn to live with, in the future.

The Council has not been immune to the impact of Covid-19, and we have been hit hard financially as many others have. We have had to work extremely hard to balance the books in the current financial year, and we will need to continue setting very challenging budgets in the years ahead. Delivering value for money services is therefore critical. It would be easy to scale back our ambitions as a result of the Covid-19 crisis. But I will not let that happen. I am absolutely determined that the success our city has enjoyed over recent years will continue.

Exeter's Historical Quay area

We will protect and maintain the services that we as residents all depend on. At the same time we will pioneer transformational programmes designed to address active lifestyles, clean growth, active travel, innovation, housing supply and a carbon neutral city. It is essential that Exeter is at the forefront of the UK’s recovery from the Covid-19 crisis. Everyone at the Council is working hard to ensure this happens, but we can’t do it alone. The collaborative approach we have taken with our partners on the Place Board means all major institutions and organisations in Exeter now speak with one united voice. It’s not simply about returning to where we were. We have pledged to Build Back Better – that means facilitating a sustainable recovery which builds on our commitment to delivering a carbon neutral city. Since we declared a Climate Emergency in Exeter last year a lot of work has taken place with our partners at Exeter City Futures to create a roadmap to a carbon neutral future. Now is the time to start putting this into action.

That’s why I have set up a new portfolio dedicated to lowering carbon emissions and fighting climate change, with a new team set up to support Net Zero. The council has a long and proud record in reducing energy through a range of ambitious measures introduced over the last decade. Now we are planning for the next phase of this work. We have a lot of plans – the buildings that we are creating here in Exeter are to super energy efficient standards, reducing carbon by up to 90 per cent and reducing the bills for households. We are bringing forward 500 council houses in the coming years all built to that standard. We will be at the forefront of retrofitting existing properties across the city to be highly energy efficient and low carbon, reducing fuel bills and bringing clean growth to Exeter, with good skilled jobs and new apprenticeships in the technology of the future.

Cllr Phil Bialyk

Labour Leader, Exeter City Council

“Our city, our future”

“By the time they are an adult, a child born in Exeter today will live in a city that is inclusive, healthy and sustainable, a city where the opportunities and benefits of prosperity are shared and all citizens are able to participate fully in the city’s economic, social, cultural and civic life.”


The manifesto is split into two main parts:

Looking back at the work completed, the impact of and the response to the Pandemic

  1. Net Zero Carbon 2030
  2. Housing and Supporting People
  3. Green Spaces, Parks, and Recycling
  4. Leisure, Health and Wellbeing, Live and Move
  5. Economy and Recovery
  6. Communities and Culture
  7. Planning and Building Control
  8. A Well-run Council

Looking forward under our four key priorities:

  • Achieving Net Zero Exeter 2030
  • Supporting Active and Healthy Lifestyles
  • Building Great Neighbourhoods
  • Leading a Well-run Council

A copy of the manifesto can be downloaded in an acrobat file.

Labour Party Exeter City Council Manifesto 2021 – 22

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