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Labour rule has failed Exeter

March 4, 2018 8:35 PM
Originally published by Exeter Liberal Democrats
Adrian Fullam ()

Adrian Fullam

As Exeter's MP steps in (Echo 1/3/18) to explain the bus station issues, it poses fundamental questions. Where is Exeter Council Leader Pete Edwards? Why do half the voters in the city choose the Labour Party to run affairs when they are so obviously failing?
If people oppose austerity, why do they vote for a Labour Party whose over-riding priority for over a decade has been to build a premium swimming pool? Is this what people in hardship are asking for?
If people vote for the Labour Party's vision of new facilities, do they feel let down? Even though they have spent big on a pool that the swimming club doesn't like and a smaller bus station that bus users don't like, Labour have failed to deliver any development at all and have lost both their partners for the pool and the wider development with millions of pounds of planning investment wasted.
Businesses, shoppers and workers will be deterred from the city centre by the double whammy of U-turn permission for out-of-town shopping and a 13% hike in parking charges. If people voted for competence, Labour have let them down. The extensive new housing in the city has brought the Council a triple windfall of Community Infrastructure Levy from developers, New Homes Bonus from the government and more Council Tax from new residents. Despite this Labour have resorted to plundering an extra £885,000 per year from drivers. With city centre viability under threat from internet shopping, this is yet another short sighted expedient.
As the Leader of the Liberal Democrat led Council 8 years ago, I warned against risky projects and their effects on valued Council services. We maintained the Community Patrol, extended hours dealing with noise nuisance, kept dog wardens, froze Councillor allowances and more. These public services have since been axed in a way that would make even a Tory blush. However Labour have managed to deliver an average 56% rise in each Councillor's allowance from 2011-2020. I think it's time that people stop the fiasco and use their vote to prise the grip of Labour away from the Council tiller.
References:
Councillor Allowances 2009 - Item 25
Councillor Allowances 2010 - Item 25
Councillor Allowances 2020
Liberal Democrat led Council (June 2008-Sept 2010)
Members (x40) £4430 each
Additional allowances:
Leader (x1) £13290
Portfolio holders (x5) £6645
Other Executive members (x3) £2215
Scrutiny & Planning Chairs (x4) £4430
Licensing Chair £2215
Chair of Standards (non-Councillor) £1108
Total: £251403 (average £6285 per councillor)
Increase (2008-2010 - 0%)
Labour Council (agreed for 2020-2021)
Members (x39) £6100 each
Additional Allowances:
Leader (x1) £19825
Portfolio Holders (x8) £10675
Other Exec member (x1) £3050
Scrutiny & Planning Chairs (x4) £6100
Licensing Chair £3050
Member Champions (x4) £1525
Total: £384300 (average £9853 per councillor)
Increase (2010-2021 - 56%)
Parking figures (£973500 (£885,000 x 110%)/£7150000) x 100 = 13.6% increase - see item 4.1 with 10% 'resistance' meaning some revenue is expected to be lost by deterred parkers.