Introduction by Cllr Phil Bialyk, Leader of the council
I am pleased to introduce our corporate plan for 2022 to 2026.
This plan has never been more important as we face up to complex and unprecedented challenges. Some of these followed directly in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic and our exit from the European Union. Others - the climate emergency, the housing emergency, the decline of the High Street and health inequalities – are more embedded.
These are significant challenges affecting the whole nation and requiring interventions and significant investment from central government. Exeter City Council and its partners have an equally important role to play in addressing them and in improving the lives and wellbeing of people who live in, visit and work in Exeter.
Likewise, we mustn’t lose sight of the inspiring and ambitious aspirations of the Exeter Vision 2040, and our contribution to the future success of the city. And, of course, we need to run an organisation and deliver essential services that people rely on as part of their everyday lives - providing leisure facilities, emptying the bins, cleaning the streets and cutting the grass - are just a few examples.
With extensive roles and responsibilities, we’re always mindful that we need to fulfil them with a dwindling financial envelope. Government funding cuts mean we must reduce our budget by £6.6m by 2026. Inevitably this involves taking some difficult decisions and prioritising what we do. Focusing on the council and achieving savings is critical and will inevitably have an impact on the resources that we can contribute to achieving the outcomes that are owned and shared by all stakeholders in the city. Delivery of this plan will be very much dependent on the rapidly-changing economic climate, the availability and the prioritisation of our resources.
We are still aspirational for our city so innovative and creative working with the private sector and our partners will be critical as we articulate a voice for the city and lobby for new investment. We can’t take sole ownership of issues that we don’t have sole control of, or responsibility for, but we will play our part, galvanising support and activity from others.
Against this backdrop, we’ll be focusing on:
- Contributing to the aspirations of the Exeter Vision 2040
- Delivering our strategic priorities
- Leading a well-run council
Of course, the scale of our activity means that this document can only be a snapshot and I look forward to reporting on our progress and achievements.
Cllr Phil Bialyk