East Devon forms private sector housing company…
Innovative ways needed to fund services, as central government support declines….
East Devon District Council has set up a Local Housing Company, totally owned by the Council, to
invest in housing for the general market (outside the scope of ‘traditional’ council housing). The
company should generate funds to supplement Council funding, essential to maintenance of the
services we all value in times of local authority austerity.
Our Local Housing Company is an opportunity for East Devon District Council to build on the
expertise the council has managing and maintaining a large stock of homes for council tenants, and
play a greater role in the local housing market through the addition of homes for the private rental
A recommendation is to be made to Full Council to approve an initial loan facility of £2m, with a
further investment of £528k to cover the initial cash shortfall in the Business Plan of the new
This does NOT mean that the Council is reducing its work on the provision of council housing. This
will continue apace and, despite the problems generated by central government policies, I’m
confident that East Devon will continue to add further council house to provide safe, secure homes
for those in housing need.
Refuse and Recycling Update…
The East Devon waste and recycling contract continues to keep our recycling rates amongst the
highest in the country. The current recycling rate is 57%, an increase of 15% over the old collection
system, significantly greater than any of the plan scenarios considered.
Despite this, feedback I have received is universally that the three-week landfill collection service,
coupled with enhanced recycling at the kerbside, has not produced the predicted ‘catastrophe’ again
dramatically circulating in the press, as other authorities consider following our lead.
Increased recycling volumes, greater than expected, have placed inevitable strain on SUEZ, our
supplier. Overall staff turnover has been high in the last year, meaning that some areas have
experienced irregular collections, in part due to staff not being familiar with their new routes.
In cab technology now means that each vehicle can be tracked, with crews updated en route with
collection information and further details of assisted collection needed by some residents.
New Materials Recovery Facility (recycling plant to the rest of us!) to open Jan2018…
The new facility at Greendale, to the east of Exeter, where much of our recycling is processed, is
due to open in Jan 2018.
But what about black plastics?…
You may be aware that it is not yet possible to guarantee that ‘black plastics’ will be recycled. Whilst
‘black plastics’ are not a serious contaminant, they reduce the value of plastics for recycling, by
being worth less to processors.
The situation is subject to review, but in the interim black plastics should still be put into our
recycling bags. EDDC and SUEZ are monitoring developments in the recycling market, hopeful that
a more attractive way of processing ‘black plastics’ becomes available.
East Devon District Council Snapshots…
• 45 affordable homes were delivered in Q1 2017. A further 159 are proposed. EDDC, through
right to buy receipts, purchased 10 houses with 16 more due to complete Q2 and Q3.
EDDC Countryside Team…
• A busy Summer with over 1000 people attending local events. Rockpool rambles, bug hunts,
outdoor yoga and canoe safaris were particularly popular.
Winter programme includes reindeer trail at Seaton Wetlands and wreath making in Seaton
• The new EDDC Office Building, at Heathpark in Honiton, is progressing on schedule. Ground
work means that the footprint of the building can now be seen. A time-lapse camera is now
recording progress with handover from the Contractor sue 15th October 2018.
Full details on all stories and the latest news on my website www.trinitymatters.co.uk
Cllr Ian Thomas – Trinity Ward, East Devon District Council
Inform – Consult – Participate
Mobile: 07884 494474
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Twitter : @CllrIanThomas