Local leaflets 2019

It’s the run-up to the local elections on 2 May, and leaflets for the candidates have been popping through my letter box. Here are the various party leaflets since the last local elections in 2018, roughly in the order they arrived, most recent first. Most of the parties seem to have grasped that these elections are about who will represent the ward on Exeter City Council and shape the local environment, economy and services.

 

 

Problematic politics

The St Loyes Ward has a funny position in Exeter. It is part of the Exeter City Council area. However, in 2010 the Parliamentary Constituency boundaries were redrawn, and St Loyes was moved from Exeter to East Devon.

I saw something of the campaigning in the 2017 General Election, and found that many residents did not know which Constituency they lived in. Would they have voted differently as a result? Would they engage their actual MP differently now if they knew who he was and that he was in a different party?

The Boundary Commission has recently been conducting a review of Constituency boundaries. One proposal was that St Loyes be moved back into the Exeter constituency, and many people supported this. However, in September the Boundary Commission recommended that we stay where we are in East Devon. So here we are, with the prospect of another General Election looking increasingly likely.

But that’s not all! In 2016, Exeter City Council redrew the Ward boundaries, so the Ward and Constituency boundaries no longer line up either. Nor do they line up with the Devon County Council Wonford & St Loyes Division boundary.

The Ordnance Survey has a great site where you can look at the various boundaries – https://www.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/election-maps/gb/. Here are the City Ward and Constituency boundaries.

 

 

St Loyes ward

St Loyes is a ward within Exeter City Council on the east side of the city. The current boundaries were set in the City Council’s 2016 reorganisation, and can be seen in the map below… together with a suggested route for ‘beating the bounds’ using different modes of transport.

St Loyes and Topsham are anomalous in Exeter, both wards being moved from the Exeter constituency to East Devon in 2010. The constituency boundaries are based on the old St Loyes ward, before the City Council reorganisation in 2016, so now the two don’t match. I need to check, but I think the boundaries of the Devon County Council electoral division of Wonford and St Loyes are based on the constituency boundaries. I do know that they don’t match the City Council boundaries. All potentially very confusing! We are waiting until September 2018 to find out whether the Boundary Commission recommends St Loyes be moved back into the Exeter constituency.

So at the moment St Loyes is a mix of council housing, mobile homes, old and new suburbs, industrial estate, retail park, M5 J30 services and part of Ludwell Valley Park. Bizarrely, it doesn’t include either the area around St Loyes Road often labelled as ‘St Loyes’ on maps, nor the old St Loyes Foundation site, nor even St Loyes Chapel, which is the wrong side of Rifford Road.

There are three primaries, one secondary school, a couple of small churches, and a few public sector organisations. There isn’t really a pub for locals, and other than a few cafés for workers on Sowton, most of the eateries are for shoppers and people passing through. It has no community centre, post office, or anything obvious that connects people and provides heart.

But take a wander or scratch the surface, and it is immensely interesting.