One of the problems we have as a City Council is we are always known for the big projects.
Purpose built student housing rather than delivering social housing.
Just this month Exeter City Councill finished building 14 Council-Own Build 3 bed homes. Built to high energy and environmental standards – the highly respected Passivhaus standard.
And that’s in addition to over 500 other social homes since 2009 – the majority for social rent – rather than the poorly named “affordable” rent. Again, there are more being built at the moment, and ambitious plans for the future.
And the day after I attended the preview night at John Lewis, I was less than 50m away at the launch of the Devon and Cornwall Food Association’s first home in Sidwell Street.
But it was when I was at the launch of the Exeter Trials maps at the Exeter Phoenix that it finally dawned on me – if each of the 100 indpendent businesses on the trial employed on average 3.5 people, the independent section in Exeter is bigger than John Lewis.
We don’t say that enough, so I’ll say it again.
The 101 businesses on the Exeter Trials employ more people than John Lewis.
And we know that Trail doesn’t include all the independents in the city – there are many many more of them trading all around our great city.
I want to help those independents and you connect and engage with local communities
And I want to connect individuals to a wider variety of local, independent businesses in a colourful and engaging way.
In a way that can strengthening Exeter’s local economic character.
And in a way that can build financial and economic resilience.
A report by the New Economics Foundation highlights £1 spent in a local business creates £1.73 value for the local economy, but only 35p spent in a national supermarket chain
[New Economics Foundation The Money Trial]
Last year I was pleased that Exeter City Council Corporate Plan – Building a stronger sustainable city – promised to
“support the development of Exeter Pound to benefit local businesses”
And just 2 months ago, I and my labour colleagues were elected with a stronger commitment contained within our manifesto pledge to
“Support the development of the Exeter Pound local currency to support local businesses and independent traders.”
I believe it’s the way forward – so much so that I’ve already said that I will take a percentage of my Councillor allowance of £4500 per year in Exeter Pounds.
And that’s why I have agreed to join the board of Exeter Pound from next month
The Exeter Pound will foster stronger community connections, helping to bring together local consumers, businesses and suppliers who share a common interest: putting people and place over profits.
We want to celebrate Exeter’s rich history, culture and diversity, and recognize the need to look after our environment for future generations.
We’re all on a journey…
It’s a journey that I’ve enjoyed so, and I’m aware that one’s destination is never a place but a new way of seeing things.
The Exeter Pound is this city’s new way of seeing things.
Come and look at the city from out point of view