THE EXETER DIGEST

Exeter Digest #8: Exeter carbon budget - Electric vehicles are not the answer - COP-EXE climate showcase - Bus shelter subvertising

In our eighth newsletter, a COP26 special, we review recent climate and environment stories, take a tour through some local winners and losers and present our pick of recent locally-focussed decarbonisation policy analysis.

REFUSE & RECYCLING  

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TOP COP26 STORIES

GREENS CALL FOR EVIDENCE-BASED EXETER CARBON BUDGET AS CITY COUNCIL CLINGS TO NET ZERO RHETORIC

A “forensic analysis on the gulf between the simplistic rhetoric and unrealisable goals of Exeter City Council and Exeter City Futures on the one hand, and the complex realities of securing decarbonisation on the other”. Read the full story or join the conversation.

IF YOU THINK ELECTRIC VEHICLES ARE THE ANSWER, YOU’RE ASKING THE WRONG QUESTION

Mike Walton of Exeter Cycling Campaign says we shouldn’t be seduced by the motoring lobby into believing that electric cars can create the future we and our children need. Read the full story or join the conversation.

COP-EXE EVENT SHOWCASES LOCAL RESPONSES TO GLOBAL CLIMATE CRISIS

Exeter city centre venues promoting local action to mitigate the climate crisis. New contributor Chris Wood’s first story for Exeter Observer.

GALLERY: BUS SHELTER SUBVERTISING

Activists post parody adverts aimed at corporate climate crisis greenwashing on Exeter city centre bus shelters. See the photos here or comment and share.

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT

PROSPECTS IMPROVE FOR POP-UP PARIS STREET AND SIDWELL STREET TENANTS

Artistic and cultural initiatives and independent local businesses that have sprung up in the shadow of the CityPoint development may get a reprieve, if council leader Phil Bialyk is to be believed.

COUNCIL SCRAPS AFFORDABLE HOUSING REQUIREMENT AT CLIFTON HILL

Council-owned Exeter City Living claims the Clifton Hill redevelopment is no longer financially viable if the affordable housing requirement remains despite receiving a council loan of nearly £16 million to buy and develop the site on the basis it would make a 20% profit.

NOTES & SKETCHES

INSTEAD OF ANNOUNCING the biggest council funding rise for over a decade, Exeter City Council’s press team marked budget day by celebrating Exeter’s latest quarterly YouGov popularity rating. The Paris Street PR machine forgot to mention that those surveyed need never have visited the city.

THE UNIVERSITY OF EXETER comms team isn’t so keen on topping league tables, at least when it comes to ranking VC remuneration. It wants to get ahead of an Office for Students report expected later this month in which it is likely to figure prominently after Steve Smith received an £830,000 pay package in his final year on the job (2019-20).

The pitch is his “extraordinary success” during his eighteen years at the university, and an “exceptional” bonus-based incentive scheme reflecting the “value and importance” of his experience and expertise.

Many of the university’s teaching staff might see the situation differently: by 2016-17 (the last year short term academic employees were included in HESA statistics) the university had become the sixth most insecure employer in the Russell Group, with 64% of all academic staff employed on insecure contracts.

His successor Lisa Roberts might also feel short-changed on her £275,000 salary, although this still places her firmly in the global top 1%. Perhaps the university is planning to donate the difference to local communities as part of its new “civic university agreement”?

AT THE OTHER END OF THE SCALE the TUC has published the results of a poll which found that nearly a quarter of key public sector workers in the South West are “actively considering” quitting their jobs because of low pay and excessive workloads.

NO SUCH IGNOMINY for Torridge and West Devon MP Geoffrey Cox, whose escapades in exotic locations must by now be familiar to most of his constituents. One Exeter Observer journalist, who has been examining income disparities across the county, found herself asking whether he could be single-handedly responsible for Torridge’s mysteriously high average wages. Presumably not, if his staunch defence of tax havens is anything to go by.

OTHER WEST DEVON RESIDENTS may soon not need to travel to experience tropical temperatures, according to research from the Met Office focussed on climate change-related temperature rises. A new Hadley Centre data dashboard makes clear the need for urgent action to keep constituencies free of their MPs.

ON OUR READING LIST

COP26 has prompted plenty of “net zero” analysis at all scales and scopes. The local focus of two think tank reports has stood out.

Centre-right Onward continues its examination of decarbonisation policy options at regional and constituency levels in Thin Ice? Understanding voters’ support for net zero [PDF].

It finds geography drives larger differences in policy support than demography, with some parts of the South West demonstrating strikingly low levels of support for basic measures such as domestic retrofitting.

And cross-party Localis outlines the case for (and barriers against) local government as the delivery vehicle for decarbonisation in COP26: Why Local Delivery Matters [PDF].

It finds upsides in key local authority roles in planning policy, environmental protection and waste disposal, and downsides in separate liaison arrangements between local authorities and different central government departments and the ongoing problem of competitive regional bidding for short-term government funds.

Meanwhile the Committee on Standards in Public Life, currently never far from the news, has published the final report and recommendations of its Standards Matter 2 review [PDF].

The report calls for stronger rules, more independent regulation and a better system of compliance, and proposes an update to the Nolan principle concerning the conduct of public office holders.

It now says they “should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour and treat others with respect”, “should actively promote and robustly support the principles” and should “challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs”, having removed “be willing to” from the final clause.

Let’s hope our local leaders are paying attention: these principles apply to everyone in public office at all levels, including city council officers and members.

OTHER OTHER NEWS

Denis the Dustcart, the council’s refuse and recycling spokesvehicle, flies his anti-capitalist flag high in his latest blogpost.

Advocating reduced production and consumption, he takes aim at “humanity’s drive towards constant growth on a finite planet” and cites the “problem plastic produced by consumerism” and the “ecological, environmental and human horror” that goes with bauxite mining for aluminium drinks can production as just two examples among many.

Perhaps more council officers should adopt alliterative cartoon alter-egos to express their views?

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More Exeter Digest

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All Exeter Digest
News
Exeter Article 4 Direction area July 2011 map

PLANNING & PLACE

St. James HMO conversion refusal overturned at appeal

Council failed to provide sufficient evidence to support 2012 planning policy introduced to limit impact of student occupation of residential housing stock.

Monkerton masterplan map

PLANNING & PLACE

Progressive Group planning enforcement proposal adopted despite public Labour rejection

Newly-published register also reveals council has issued as many planning enforcement notices in the past three months as it has in the past three years.

Exeter Statement of Community Involvement cover

PLANNING & PLACE

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.

All News
Analysis
Stagecoach app showing Exeter bus service delays and cancellations

TRANSPORT & MOBILITY

Bus back better? Exeter services expected to remain unfit for purpose without needed changes

Government underfunding and bus sector challenges limit scope for improvement but county council failure to upgrade routes and policy ambitions plus high housing costs make Exeter difficulties acute, undermining net zero aspirations.

Exeter City Futures website - vision & mission summary

CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

University emissions study confirms Net Zero Exeter plan redundancy

Council retains Exeter City Futures' services despite history of delivery failures and lack of capacity to support defined decarbonisation targets.

Greenhouse gas protocol for cities - sources and boundaries of city greenhouse gas emissions (scale)

CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

Exeter greenhouse gas report disregards hundreds of thousands of tonnes of annual city emissions

Restricted scope of study misrepresents scale of city's impact to produce partial decarbonisation targets while ignoring opportunities to reduce emissions imported by residents, businesses and visitors, guaranteeing net zero failure.

All Analysis
Comment
Exeter City Futures Exeter Development Fund presentation slide

PLANNING & PLACE

Exeter Development Fund: rent extraction, unaffordable housing and gentrification, but not net zero

Exeter City Futures' private debt-driven Liveable Exeter property development financing scheme is under fire from councillors who say it is based on insufficiently-evidenced assumptions and won't meet Exeter's housing needs.

E3 cycle route Chard Road modal filter

TRANSPORT & MOBILITY

Exeter cycling & walking strategy five years late and counting

County council soft-pedalling on infrastructure plan which city council says will not form part of new Exeter Local Plan despite Department for Transport guidance.

Liveable Exeter community engagement with council development director Ian Collinson

PLANNING & PLACE

Property development promotion as community planning participation

If the Liveable Exeter property development scheme and its Exeter Development Fund financing vehicle are already intended to "anchor and underpin" the new Exeter Local Plan, what will public consultation on the plan decide?

All Comment
On the agenda
New Exeter Local Plan

New Exeter Local Plan draft consultation

A consultation on the draft version of the new Exeter Local Plan, which will guide development in the city until 2040, is taking place this autumn.

All topics

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   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 PENSION FUND DEVON PENSION FUND DEVON PENSION FUND   DURYARD & ST. JAMES DURYARD & ST. JAMES DURYARD & ST. JAMES   EAST DEVON DISTRICT COUNCIL EAST DEVON DISTRICT COUNCIL EAST DEVON DISTRICT COUNCIL   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 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 ST. DAVID'S EXETER ST. DAVID'S EXETER ST. DAVID'S   EXETER TRANSPORT STRATEGY EXETER TRANSPORT STRATEGY EXETER TRANSPORT STRATEGY   EXETER CITY CENTRE EXETER CITY CENTRE EXETER CITY CENTRE   EXWICK EXWICK EXWICK   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   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   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 TRANSPORT PUBLIC TRANSPORT PUBLIC TRANSPORT   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. DAVID'S & HAVEN BANKS ST. DAVID'S & HAVEN BANKS ST. DAVID'S & HAVEN BANKS   ST. DAVID'S ST. DAVID'S ST. DAVID'S   ST. LOYE'S ST. LOYE'S ST. LOYE'S   ST. SIDWELL'S COMMUNITY CENTRE ST. SIDWELL'S COMMUNITY CENTRE ST. SIDWELL'S COMMUNITY CENTRE   ST. SIDWELL'S POINT ST. SIDWELL'S POINT ST. SIDWELL'S POINT   ST. THOMAS ST. THOMAS ST. THOMAS   STAGECOACH SOUTH WEST STAGECOACH SOUTH WEST STAGECOACH SOUTH WEST   TEIGNBRIDGE DISTRICT COUNCIL TEIGNBRIDGE DISTRICT COUNCIL TEIGNBRIDGE DISTRICT COUNCIL   TOPSHAM TOPSHAM TOPSHAM   UNIVERSITY OF EXETER UNIVERSITY OF EXETER UNIVERSITY OF EXETER  

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