#ECC15 | Yes, #Cowick really does deserve better

It’s always good to see what your opposition is up to…and I was glad to see (at long last ) a leaflet from my Tory opponent. It is interesting to note that he stood against my co-councillor Heather Morris in 2014, yet this is the first communication since then

He uses the slogan Cowick Deserves Better.

He says that there are roads in Cowick that are in desperate need of repairing – something that the Labour team have been highlighting for 4 years.

He seems to have missed pictures with golf balls.


Golf on Dorset Avenue
Golf on Dorset Avenue

And the survey that revealed over 200 potholes along the length of Dorset Avenue – many of them not classified as safety defects, so not in need of repair according to DCC.

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He seems to have missed the petition that was presented to Devon County Council at the end of last year. The one that prompted DCC to reply that yes they have a scheme drawn up, but no there’s no money to implement that scheme.

This might seem that we’re favouriting Dorset Avenue – of course not! We’re just highlighting Dorset Avenue as one of many  (or is that MOST?) of the roads in Cowick that are in desperate need of repair and resurfacing.

And of course, he overlooks the fact that the Conservative-led Devon County Council are managing a planned decline in the state of roads – not only in Cowick, not only in Exeter, but across Devon. DCC need to spend £65m to keep their roads in the state they are in now, yet they have only budgeted £35m to do so!

He says that the Merrivale Road Community Centre is looking sad and neglected – I’m guessing that he means Westside (formerly Buddle Lane) Youth Centre. For 4 years, I’ve been wanting the building to be used as a community centre.

Buddle Lane Youth Centre  has a new name - Westside
Buddle Lane Youth Centre has a new name – Westside

Since Devon County Council (oh, them again – remind me who runs that council?) cut all youth service provision west of the Exe in the autumn, the building has been shut.

Local Labour councillors have been working alongside Exeter YMCA to prepare a new vision for the future – that of a community centre that also hosts youth provision. It’s been hard work. The initial plan had been to get the building up and running by now, but a series of delays (involving DCC as the main obstacle) have delayed all that – probably until the autumn.

He highlights the situation at Cowick Street and Dunsford Road crossroads – perhaps he’s missed me standing at the First & Last  in my fluorescent jacket watching traffic and bus movements. Certainly in the photo he uses, traffic seems to be flowing – this is what I’ve observed and why I want the problem addressed.

Traffic congestion at First & Last
Traffic congestion at First & Last

I’ve plenty of ideas. I’ve written about those ideas. And I’ve presented them at site meetings and Exeter Highways and Traffic Orders [HATOC] meetings – but still DCC (on no, it’s them again!) refuse to act.

I’ve been talking to Ben Bradshaw about the situation at this chaotic and congested junction – and together we may a plan to improve the traffic flow here.

Does the candidate know what actually does go on at the beautiful Bowhill.  Exeter City Council gave planning permission for a cafe a few years back, yet to date those plans have not come to fruition.As I understand it, the building is in private ownership and hosts a couple of flourishing businesses. In the meanwhile, those of you that vote her on polling day, please take time to look up at the roof – its wonderful.

The interior roof of the Great Hall.
The interior roof of the Great Hall.

(and on polling day you may see me in the indoor gallery on the approach to the Great Hall – so do say “Hi”).

An indoor gallery at Bowhill House.
An indoor gallery at Bowhill House.

Imitation is thought to be the sincerest form of flattery, but  in using only a part of a campaigning slogan I’ve been using in Cowick for 3 years – Cowick Deserves Better Buses – yet miss out the crucial final word, my opponent truely has missed the bus!

An election elevator pitch for a floating voter

It’s election countdown time – so time to prepare an elevator pitch for a floating voter!

“You’re a floating voter, you say. Over the next one hundred days or so, you’re going to be bombarded with facts and figures by all parties to try and convince you to vote for them.

And I’m going to be no different!

I’m proud of what Exeter Labour have done for the city.

Council Tax in the city is one of the lowest in the country, but by using our assets – our car parks and property portfolio – we’ve managed to avoid the worst ravages of auterity cuts imposed by the Tory-led Coalition Government. [1]

Exeter’s track record of increasing productivity has been highlighted as one of the best in the UK, second only to oil-rich Aberdeen. [2]

As a result, Exeter has a thriving economy – with vacant shops in the city at half the national average.

We see culture is an economic driver of the city – and Exeter is only 1 of 3 local authorities that spends 50p per week per person on arts, culture and heritage.

As a council, we aspire to be energy neutral by the year 2020 – already an award-winning programme [3]

We already have solar PV panels on the roofs of many of our civic buildings, and now we’re planning to install them on the top decks of some of our car parks.

We’ve invested in electric vehicles and with Government grants have installed electric charging points around the city

We’re converting our office lighting to LED and will use motion sensors to switch them off when not needs.

So by voting for Exeter Labour, as well as RED you get GREEN.”

[1] Exeter Citizen [Spring 2014]

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[2] The State of The North  ed: Ed Cox and Luke Raikes [IPPR North, November 2014]

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[3] Exeter City Council – Becoming an Energy Neutral Council  in PSS Magazine [ November 2014] – Winner Best Energy Management in Public Sector Sustainability Awards 2014

Cllr Paul Bull – Reselected as Labour’s candidate for #Cowick

In autumn 2010, I was pleased to be selected as the Labour and Co-operative candidate for Cowick and in May 2011, I was excited to be elected as a City Councillor for the Cowick ward.

Working with my co-Cllr Heather Morris, we have achieved a lot in Cowick, and with the addition of Roy Hill to the team in 2013, we’ve started to make a difference at County level as well.

With all that in mind, I am proud to have been re-selected as the Labour and Co-operative Party candidate for the local City Council election next May.

I look forward to talking to many of you over the coming months about what I’ve done for the ward in the past and what I hope I can bring to Cowick in the future.

Here in Cowick, I work with Heather and Roy as part of a team – campaigning together for a community that’s welcomed us – many are now aware they live in the Cowick ward, even though their postal address might be St Thomas or Higher St Thomas

We’ve discovered the previously lost community of Exonia Park – and given park home residents there and across the city a stronger voice.

Both 20 mph zones within Cowick (indeed around Exeter) are now correctly signed and legally enforceable, whatever anyone else might say.

We’ve informed local residents of the advantages and disadvantages of part-night street lighting – and are keeping a watchful eye on reported crime statistics.

Over the past 4 years, we’ve strived to keep you informed of what we’ve been doing for the residents of Cowick.

Throughout those 4 years, we’ve shown the residents of Cowick, West Exe and Exeter that they are better off with a Labour-run City Council.

You’ll be hearing from us over the coming months – on the doorstep, in community meetings, on the buses, maybe in phone calls, emails, tweets and Facebook posts.

And that’s not because there’s an election due – it’s just that’s the way we work as a team in Cowick.

In the past, now and in the future.