Cllr James Taghdissian reports:

You may be aware that in a recent judgment the High Court ruled that Labour's unitary decision for Exeter was unlawful. One of the consequences of this is that 12 of the Exeter councillors whose term was extended for a year by the unitary order have been deemed disqualified as councillors and fresh elections have been ordered. Most are seeking re-election with a 13th councillor (a Conservative) taking the opportunity to resign for personal reasons at this time so as to minimise costs etc….

As a result there will be 13 local government by-elections to Exeter City Council on 9th September 2010 with 12 being held in the Exeter parliamentary constituency and 1 in the East Devon seat.  At the general election the Conservatives were shy by 2,700 odd of gaining the seat from Labour's Ben Bradshaw (previous majority 8,500).

Locally, Exeter City Council was under Labour rule for about 25 years until 2008 when a minority Lib Dem administration took over.

The composition of the council before these elections were required was as follows:

Lib Dem -12

Conservative -11

Labour -11

In the by-elections the Conservatives are trying to hold on to four wards as well as make gains from the other parties.

The elections will see 1/3 of the council up for election and it will
be the first opportunity to see the effect of the coalition on the
electorate given the concentration of by-elections in the Exeter
parliamentary constituency.

This is the Council which featured in The Sunday Telegraph's Waste Watch after spending £172,000 on modernist public art in Heavitree Fore Street. It included £73,000 on a glass and metal sculpture and paying someone £4,000 to write a poem.

Offers of help for these elections are welcome. Ring the Conservative office on 01395-233503 or email

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