Welcome to The Exeter Digest. Thanks for subscribing. Please feel free to reply to this email or get in touch with any comments or suggestions you may have.
IS THE GRASS REALLY GREENER IN EXETER CITY CENTRE?
Academic research placing Exeter retail area at top of green space table was nationally reported, locally misrepresented then repurposed as booster fuel by local politicians overlooking study’s social justice focus.
COUNCIL LOTTERY OPERATOR TO TAKE CUT FROM LOCAL CHARITABLE DONATIONS
Decision to promote gambling as “incentivised giving” plays down risks without assessing potential impacts or evidencing claimed benefits, disrupting relationships between community and voluntary sector organisations and supporters.
EXETER CITY FUTURES FALSELY CLAIMS DEVELOPMENT FUND DOCUMENTS DISCLOSED UNDER FOI LEGISLATION
Senior council director puts company on collision course with Information Commissioner’s Office as significant governance failings emerge after councillors and public kept in dark over Liveable Exeter financing scheme proposals.
FIRST DAY OF HISTORIC NURSES STRIKE GOES AHEAD AFTER GOVERNMENT REFUSES TO NEGOTIATE OVER PAY
Royal College of Nursing members out in force at Exeter NHS trusts alongside colleagues across the country as recruitment crisis threatens profession.
SOUTH WEST WATER PERFORMANCE REMAINS AMONG WORST IN SECTOR AS IT FALLS FURTHER BEHIND TARGETS
Regulator highlights “sustained poor performance” after serious pollution incidents nearly triple and Environment Agency condemns company in annual assessment.
EXETER CITY LIVING PUT COUNCIL AT “SIGNIFICANT FINANCIAL RISK” AFTER £2.2 MILLION LOSS IN FIRST TWO YEARS
Missing business plan, lack of transparency and conflicts of interest among senior council directors prompt board resignations and governance review at council-owned and funded company.
UNIVERSITY OF EXETER LAGS BEHIND ON FEMALE PAY AND EMPLOYMENT TERMS
HESA figures show poor performance compared with Universities UK members and only incremental changes over past five years, mostly since staff began industrial action over pay, pensions and working conditions.
ON THE AGENDA
COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE LEVY REVIEW
Exeter City Council is consulting on a partial review of the charges it levies on developers to pay for community grants, habitat impact mitigation and projects like Marsh Barton railway station.
Its decision to launch a public consultation as the holiday period begins follows an attempt by opposition councillors to prevent the proposals going ahead in their current form.
The council employed a firm of consultants to produce background and viability reports to justify its revised charging proposals which are incomplete and insufficiently evidenced.
The revised charging schedule will be submitted for public examination next year. Anyone wishing to speak at the examination hearing must notify the council in writing before the end of consultation period on 25 January.
HELP RECLAIM LOCAL JOURNALISM
Share this newsletter with your friends and family and encourage them to subscribe free.
Support our work. Every contribution helps sustain our public interest reporting.
Become a member. It is our members who enable us to hold wealth, power and the influence of individuals and institutions to account in the public sphere.
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT
INFORMATION COMMISSIONER TO INVESTIGATE UNIVERSITY OVER STUDENT ACCOMMODATION NUMBERS REFUSAL
Compliance failure follows university admission that nearly 39,000 students based at Exeter campuses in 2021-22, suggesting around three quarters of city’s private rented housing stock occupied by students.
STAGECOACH ESCAPES MAJOR SANCTIONS OVER SERVICE FAILURES
Traffic commissioner decides four days of free weekend travel in Exeter Plus ticket zone is sufficient penalty for poor performance despite public inquiry hearing severe criticism of company.
UNIVERSITY OF EXETER STAFF STRIKE IN LARGEST WALKOUT IN SECTOR HISTORY
Dispute over pay, pensions and working conditions continues as universities generate record income.
MOTOR VEHICLE INFRASTRUCTURE CONTINUES TO DOMINATE DEVON TRANSPORT SPENDING
New active travel infrastructure to receive just 5% share of capital allocations this year and next, with new roads capital expenditure to increase from 74% to 86%.
Exeter City Council’s announcement this week that its CEO Karime Hassan is leaving at the end of March came replete with a range of eyebrow-raising claims yet was missing key information.
We’re looking forward to examining the former and investigating the latter in the new year.
In the meantime, best wishes for the festive season to all our readers from everyone at Exeter Observer.