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Exeter 2020 net internal migration by age group bar chart

Exeter beset by unaffordable housing, low graduate retention and economically inactive over 50's

Exeter City Council executive ignores key challenges flagged in major council-commissioned employment and skills research report.

Church Road traffic congestions

Alphington "enhancements" will not mitigate traffic impact from massive South West Exeter extension

County council manipulates public consultation and allocates just 1% of £55 million grant to pedestrian scheme while spending 75% on new roads and increased road capacity for 3,500 new cars expected on greenfield housing estate.

Council rejects calls for greater community involvement in Exeter planning policy and decisions

Council defends existing approach despite Statement of Community Involvement consultation producing just 17 responses, and won't do more to promote neighbourhood planning despite prospect of enhanced community powers.

Exeter Statement of Community Involvement cover
On our radar
  • SATURDAY 9 JULY 2022

    Kidical Mass returns to Exeter in July

    Kidical Mass Exeter is holding its second family bike ride and picnic as part of an ongoing global campaign for safe cycling routes for children, young people and families.

    BELMONT PARK

  • SUNDAY 24 JULY 2022

    Cast A Sheep's Eye: 16th and 17th century love songs

    Joe Levy and Konstantinos Terzakis perform Renaissance and Baroque music by Purcell, Dowland, Morley and others in a series of concerts in historic buildings.

    ST. LAWRENCE CHAPEL

  • SATURDAY 30 JULY 2022

    Phonic Fest 2022

    Exeter Phoenix is hosting a day of live music from local artists plus DJs to raise money for Phonic FM, Exeter's community radio station.

    EXETER PHOENIX

    Help power our public interest journalism

    The Exeter Digest

    Exeter Digest #14: Exeter beset - Alphington impacts - Magdalen Road - Community involvement?

    Our essential newsletter also covers continuing Exeter Development Fund scrutiny, missing meetings minutes from Exeter City Futures and Devon Climate Emergency Response Group, Liveable Exeter confusion and local design code reforms.

    Exeter Digest #13: Flowerpot Playing Fields under threat - Scrutiny circumvention continues - Kidical Mass rides into town

    Our thirteenth newsletter also covers city council spending on Instagram influencers, museum-fronted property development promotion, reports on local democracy and the role of councils in climate action and a government inquiry into the sustainability of local journalism.

    Exeter Digest #12: Local elections special

    Our twelfth newsletter also covers Devon Carbon Plan procrastination, hot air on the buses, county council transport insights and the continuing Exeter Development Fund scrutiny saga.

    Kidical Mass Exeter: "The best day ever"

    300 people took part in the first Kidical Mass Exeter family bike ride on Sunday 15 May as part of a global campaign for safe cycling routes for children, young people and families.

    Gallery - Kidical Mass Exeter: "The best day ever"
    Featured
    Flowerpot Playing Fields

    Will Exeter College fence off Exwick community playing fields?

    Exeter College redevelopment plans at Exwick and Flowerpot Playing Fields threaten a three metre fence around public-accessible playing fields and their replacement with artificial turf. Will it change course after widespread objections?


    Magdalen Road public consultation results option preferences bar chart

    £900,000 to keep Magdalen Road one-way system despite decisive public support for low traffic street

    County council misrepresented and omitted key public consultation findings in report and did not publish results until after decision taken in favour of option with only 18% public support. Exeter Observer snapshot survey finds 90%+ motor vehicles passing shops are through traffic.


    Exeter City Council 2022 annual meeting 17 May 2022

    Labour councillors appointed to all fourteen city council committee chairs at annual meeting

    Council leader falsely claims "overwhelming majority" voted Labour in Exeter local elections while circumvention of council decision-making scrutiny continues.


    Net Zero Exeter 2030 plan cover edit

    Exeter City Council abandons city 2030 decarbonisation "ambition"

    Unannounced decision to exclude scope 3 emissions constituting around 43% of Exeter's carbon footprint from "net zero" plans effectively ensures city will not meet its decarbonisation goals.


    Vaughan Road Exeter City Living development site

    Why does Exeter City Council evade public scrutiny of Exeter City Living property development decisions?

    Significant decisions concerning the council-owned company are being taken in secret despite transparency legislation and assurances when it was created, with governance and scrutiny arrangements also potentially putting the council at risk.


    Exeter student house in multiple occupation

    Council consultants confirm 58% of Exeter's university students live in city's residential housing stock

    2021-22 university figures suggest there are now more than 4,500 student HMOs in the city, consistent with ONS findings, with number set to surpass Exeter's council housing provision.


    Exeter City Council in session at Exeter Guildhall

    Exeter City Futures secondment decision may be unlawful

    Backbench city councillors denied scrutiny call-in powers to challenge controversial decision to send chief executive and senior director to work for private company.


    Exeter Ukrainian refugee support hub Conversation Café

    Ukrainian refugee support hub opens in Exeter city centre

    Conversation Café pop-up offers information, resources, events and meeting space to help cut through the confusion surrounding the Homes for Ukraine scheme and enable Devon's response to the crisis.


    Guildhall shopping centre sale brochure cover

    £55 million Guildhall shopping centre decision may breach local government transparency rules

    Exeter City Council decision to purchase and redevelop shopping centre may be unlawful, ineffective and subject to judicial review, increasing already significant commercial investment risks.


    Karime Hassan, Phil Bialyk, Tony Rowe and Paul Thomas at Sandy Park hotel development site

    Decision to send council CEO and director to work for Exeter City Futures is "disservice to citizens"

    City council disregards governance, risk and conflict of interest issues despite cross-party challenges and conflates decarbonisation agenda with property development financing scheme.


    Individual overseas ownership of Exeter property titles 2010 to 2021 bar chart

    Individual overseas ownership of Exeter property triples in ten years

    350% rise greater than in Kensington & Chelsea and Westminster, increasing housing costs, reducing home ownership levels and harming housing affordability.


    Devon council climate action plan Climate Emergency UK scorecard scores bar chart

    Exeter decarbonisation plans found wanting in nationwide council climate action plan study

    Somerset West and Taunton highest scoring local authority area with East Devon in third place nationally in comprehensive Climate Emergency UK analysis.

    Democratic deficit
    Exeter Labour manifesto for Exeter City Council 2022 elections - front cover

    Do Exeter Labour election campaign claims stand up to scrutiny? Part I: Exeter's housing crisis

    The first instalment in our 2022 local elections coverage examines Exeter Labour claims related to the housing crisis overtaking the city.

    Liveable Exeter Place Board agenda October 2020 redacted

    City council outsourcing Exeter local government to unaccountable Liveable Exeter Place Board

    An Exeter Observer investigation of Liveable Exeter Place Board has found that it is a de facto decision-making and governance body which exercises public functions with the potential to affect everyone who lives and works in Exeter.

    Exeter city centre from Exeter Cathedral roof

    Freedom of Information requests reveal Liveable Exeter Place Board "chumocracy" overseeing the city

    Despite the significance of Liveable Exeter Place Board's role in determining the city's future, its members are selected and appointed on a secretive, informal basis.

    Exeter City Council offices on Paris Street

    Council pushes back on Liveable Exeter Place Board scrutiny following membership change

    Exeter City Council has responded to an enquiry about disproportionate Church of England representation on the Liveable Exeter Place Board by accusing Exeter Observer of promoting a "partisan narrative" and claiming our public interest reporting "bears no resemblance to fact".

    St. Sidwell's Point development site outline aerial view

    Exeter City Council executive members take direct control of city planning decisions

    Council's executive now possesses majority on city planning committee, with council leader and planning portfolio holder also included despite national guidance, offering basis to challenge decisions and increasing democratic deficit.

    Food retailers at Queen Street Dining in Exeter Guildhall shopping centre

    Unelected Liveable Exeter Place Board created to oversee city from the shadows

    Exeter City Council has convened an unelected board that meets in private, does not publish its discussions or decisions and is taking responsibility for major policies which will determine Exeter's future.

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    ACCOUNTABILITY & TRANSPARENCY ACCOUNTABILITY & TRANSPARENCY ACCOUNTABILITY & TRANSPARENCY   AFFORDABILITY AFFORDABILITY AFFORDABILITY   AIR QUALITY AIR QUALITY AIR QUALITY   ALPHINGTON & COWICK ALPHINGTON & COWICK ALPHINGTON & COWICK   ALPHINGTON ALPHINGTON ALPHINGTON   BONHAY MEADOWS BONHAY MEADOWS BONHAY MEADOWS   CLIFTON HILL SPORTS CENTRE CLIFTON HILL SPORTS CENTRE CLIFTON HILL SPORTS CENTRE   COP26 COP26 COP26   COVID-19 COVID-19 COVID-19   CITYPOINT CITYPOINT CITYPOINT   CLIFTON HILL SPORTS CENTRE CLIFTON HILL SPORTS CENTRE CLIFTON HILL SPORTS CENTRE   CLIMATE CRISIS CLIMATE CRISIS CLIMATE CRISIS   CO-LIVING CO-LIVING CO-LIVING   CONGESTION CONGESTION CONGESTION   COUNCIL TAX COUNCIL TAX COUNCIL TAX   COVERING CLIMATE NOW COVERING CLIMATE NOW COVERING CLIMATE NOW   CROWN ESTATE CROWN ESTATE CROWN ESTATE   CYCLING & WALKING CYCLING & WALKING CYCLING & WALKING   DEMOCRATIC DEFICIT DEMOCRATIC DEFICIT DEMOCRATIC DEFICIT   DEVON & CORNWALL POLICE & CRIME COMMISSIONER DEVON & CORNWALL POLICE & CRIME COMMISSIONER DEVON & CORNWALL POLICE & CRIME COMMISSIONER   DEVON CARBON PLAN DEVON CARBON PLAN DEVON CARBON PLAN   DEVON COUNTY COUNCIL DEVON COUNTY COUNCIL DEVON COUNTY COUNCIL   DEVON GREEN NEW DEAL DEVON GREEN NEW DEAL DEVON GREEN NEW DEAL   DEVON PENSION FUND DEVON PENSION FUND DEVON PENSION FUND   DURYARD & ST. 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JAMES   EAST DEVON DISTRICT COUNCIL EAST DEVON DISTRICT COUNCIL EAST DEVON DISTRICT COUNCIL   ELECTRIC VEHICLES ELECTRIC VEHICLES ELECTRIC VEHICLES   EXE ESTUARY EXE ESTUARY EXE ESTUARY   EXETER AIRPORT EXETER AIRPORT EXETER AIRPORT   EXETER CANAL AND QUAY TRUST EXETER CANAL AND QUAY TRUST EXETER CANAL AND QUAY TRUST   EXETER CATHEDRAL EXETER CATHEDRAL EXETER CATHEDRAL   EXETER CITY COUNCIL EXETER CITY COUNCIL EXETER CITY COUNCIL   EXETER CITY FUTURES EXETER CITY FUTURES EXETER CITY FUTURES   EXETER CITY LIVING EXETER CITY LIVING EXETER CITY LIVING   EXETER CIVIC SOCIETY EXETER CIVIC SOCIETY EXETER CIVIC SOCIETY   EXETER COLLEGE EXETER COLLEGE EXETER COLLEGE   EXETER CULTURE EXETER CULTURE EXETER CULTURE   EXETER CUSTOM HOUSE EXETER CUSTOM HOUSE EXETER CUSTOM HOUSE   EXETER DEVELOPMENT FUND EXETER DEVELOPMENT FUND EXETER DEVELOPMENT FUND   EXETER EXTINCTION REBELLION EXETER EXTINCTION REBELLION EXETER EXTINCTION REBELLION   EXETER LIVE BETTER EXETER LIVE BETTER EXETER LIVE BETTER   EXETER LOCAL PLAN EXETER LOCAL PLAN EXETER LOCAL PLAN   EXETER PHOENIX EXETER PHOENIX EXETER PHOENIX   EXETER PRIDE EXETER PRIDE EXETER PRIDE   EXETER SCIENCE PARK EXETER SCIENCE PARK EXETER SCIENCE PARK   EXETER SHIP CANAL EXETER SHIP CANAL EXETER SHIP CANAL   EXETER ST. DAVID'S EXETER ST. DAVID'S EXETER ST. DAVID'S   EXETER TRANSPORT STRATEGY EXETER TRANSPORT STRATEGY EXETER TRANSPORT STRATEGY   EXETER UCU EXETER UCU EXETER UCU   EXETER CITY CENTRE EXETER CITY CENTRE EXETER CITY CENTRE   EXWICK EXWICK EXWICK   FOSSIL FUEL DIVESTMENT FOSSIL FUEL DIVESTMENT FOSSIL FUEL DIVESTMENT   FREEDOM OF INFORMATION FREEDOM OF INFORMATION FREEDOM OF INFORMATION   FRIDAYS FOR FUTURE EXETER FRIDAYS FOR FUTURE EXETER FRIDAYS FOR FUTURE EXETER   GENERAL ELECTIONS GENERAL ELECTIONS GENERAL ELECTIONS   GUILDHALL GUILDHALL GUILDHALL   HARLEQUINS HARLEQUINS HARLEQUINS   HEART OF THE SOUTH WEST LEP HEART OF THE SOUTH WEST LEP HEART OF THE SOUTH WEST LEP   HEAVITREE & WHIPTON BARTON HEAVITREE & WHIPTON BARTON HEAVITREE & WHIPTON BARTON   HEAVITREE HEAVITREE HEAVITREE   HOUSES IN MULTIPLE OCCUPATION HOUSES IN MULTIPLE OCCUPATION HOUSES IN MULTIPLE OCCUPATION   HOUSING HOUSING HOUSING   LGBTQIA+ LGBTQIA+ LGBTQIA+   LIVEABLE EXETER PLACE BOARD LIVEABLE EXETER PLACE BOARD LIVEABLE EXETER PLACE BOARD   LIVEABLE EXETER LIVEABLE EXETER LIVEABLE EXETER   LOCAL INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY LOCAL INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY LOCAL INDUSTRIAL STRATEGY   LOCAL ELECTIONS LOCAL ELECTIONS LOCAL ELECTIONS   MAKETANK MAKETANK MAKETANK   MARSH BARTON MARSH BARTON MARSH BARTON   MET OFFICE MET OFFICE MET OFFICE   MID DEVON DISTRICT COUNCIL MID DEVON DISTRICT COUNCIL MID DEVON DISTRICT COUNCIL   MINCINGLAKE & WHIPTON MINCINGLAKE & WHIPTON MINCINGLAKE & WHIPTON   MOUNT RADFORD LAWN MOUNT RADFORD LAWN MOUNT RADFORD LAWN   NET ZERO EXETER NET ZERO EXETER NET ZERO EXETER   NEWTOWN & ST. LEONARD'S NEWTOWN & ST. LEONARD'S NEWTOWN & ST. LEONARD'S   NORTHERNHAY GARDENS NORTHERNHAY GARDENS NORTHERNHAY GARDENS   OXYGEN HOUSE OXYGEN HOUSE OXYGEN HOUSE   PARIS STREET PARIS STREET PARIS STREET   PARKING PARKING PARKING   PASSIVHAUS PASSIVHAUS PASSIVHAUS   PENINSULA TRANSPORT PENINSULA TRANSPORT PENINSULA TRANSPORT   PENNSYLVANIA PENNSYLVANIA PENNSYLVANIA   PINHOE PINHOE PINHOE   PLANNING POLICY PLANNING POLICY PLANNING POLICY   PRINCESSHAY PRINCESSHAY PRINCESSHAY   PRIORY PRIORY PRIORY   PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT PROPERTY DEVELOPMENT   PUBLIC CONSULTATION PUBLIC CONSULTATION PUBLIC CONSULTATION   PUBLIC HEALTH PUBLIC HEALTH PUBLIC HEALTH   PUBLIC REALM PUBLIC REALM PUBLIC REALM   PUBLIC TOILETS PUBLIC TOILETS PUBLIC TOILETS   PURPOSE BUILT STUDENT ACCOMMODATION PURPOSE BUILT STUDENT ACCOMMODATION PURPOSE BUILT STUDENT ACCOMMODATION   RAMM RAMM RAMM   REFUSE & RECYCLING REFUSE & RECYCLING REFUSE & RECYCLING   RETROFIT RETROFIT RETROFIT   RIVERSIDE VALLEY PARK RIVERSIDE VALLEY PARK RIVERSIDE VALLEY PARK   ROYAL DEVON & EXETER NHS TRUST ROYAL DEVON & EXETER NHS TRUST ROYAL DEVON & EXETER NHS TRUST   SIDWELL STREET SIDWELL STREET SIDWELL STREET   SOUTH WEST EXETER EXTENSION SOUTH WEST EXETER EXTENSION SOUTH WEST EXETER EXTENSION   SOUTH WEST WATER SOUTH WEST WATER SOUTH WEST WATER   SOUTHERNHAY SOUTHERNHAY SOUTHERNHAY   SPORT ENGLAND LOCAL DELIVERY PILOT SPORT ENGLAND LOCAL DELIVERY PILOT SPORT ENGLAND LOCAL DELIVERY PILOT   ST. 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