Cllr Paul Diviani is the Leader of East Devon District Council
We aim to secure an outstanding and sustainable quality of life for everyone in East Devon.
Where we live, work and play has a tremendous influence on our well-being. We shall seek to conserve and enhance the environment through the social and economic well-being of the people who live and work here. We must achieve a proper balance between the environment, the economy and our communities by weighing the relative merits to ensure sustainability and resultant harmony.
We want to be safe in our communities and to that end we will work in partnership with the other authorities to achieve that. We will look after the disadvantaged of all ages, to ensure that lack of finance and opportunity is not a barrier to the quality of life we all desire. With local housing for local people our top priority, we shall enable good quality and sustainable development to produce the 250 affordable homes we need every year. Then, at last, we will enable families to live and work in close proximity to each other, emulating the cohesive neighbourhoods we remember and desire.
We want our public realm to remain attractive; whether it be the award-winning parks and gardens or the pavements and pathways we traverse daily. We are fortunate that we can all share not only the nationally designated Blackdown Hills and East Devon AONBs (Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty), but also the only English, internationally recognised, natural World Heritage Site, known as the Jurassic Coast, which together comprise two thirds of our District. As our landscape defines our style, so we shall recognise that renewable energy will have an increasingly important part to play in the way our district looks and powers itself.
We want there to be equal opportunity for work and in particular to achieve high quality jobs in the emerging high tech and green industries. No longer should our young people be forced to leave through lack of housing or employment. Those who wish to depart will always have the option to return to their roots in later years. If they do, we will be there to look after them.
Recognising our foremost economic activity, we welcome visitors drawn to our stunning coastline, our vibrant market towns and villages set in our beautiful countryside, which would not be so but for the custodianship of our farmers who we will support in their efforts to maintain food security and in the process, bring delicious local produce to market. In recognition of the many small rural businesses which are the backbone of our economy, we shall continue to lobby for fast broadband which will also stop our youngsters being disadvantaged solely through location.
We shall communicate in a positive manner with all our residents which will ensure positive leadership and positive partnerships. We want people to feel they really can influence public decision making but realise, in the spirit of localism, individual and community initiatives reflect responsibilities rather than rights. Truly sustainable places are about happy communities, living and working together in wonderful places.
We all want to be proud to live in East Devon and when that is realised, we shall be content.