2024 community share offer
2024 community share offer

About Exeter Observer

Production & distribution

Exeter Observer is produced by a tiny newsroom with two staff. It has also published work by sixteen volunteer contributors since its launch in April 2019.

Its website is its primary publishing platform. It is designed in-house to convey high editorial standards and confer high search engine rankings while avoiding the clutter that crowds out content on other local channels.

It is delivered using a high-resilience network to provide fast page load times and is evolving continuously as new formats and tools arrive.

Exeter Observer also publishes The Exeter Digest, a free email newsletter, which contains a round-up of recent stories and a curated selection of community and culture events every few weeks.

It employs selected social media channels as well as printed materials to promote individual stories and reach new readers and communities of interest across the city.

“Journalism is printing what someone else does not want published; everything else is public relations.”

Often misattributed to George Orwell

Martin RedfernMartin Redfern is Exeter Observer’s editor and a director of its publisher Exeter Observer Limited. He writes many of its news stories and features, leads on investigations and maintains the website.
Martin is an accredited UK press card holder, a member of the Chartered Institute of Journalists and the Society of Editors and holds a masters degree in Journalism with distinction at Birkbeck, University of London.

Leigh CurtisLeigh Curtis is Exeter Observer’s deputy editor and membership co-ordinator and a director of its publisher Exeter Observer Limited. She writes most of our community and culture stories, some news and features and manages our growing membership.
She holds a degree in Fine Art at Goldsmiths, University of London, and leads on design and marketing as well as dealing with Exeter Observer’s financial and administrative management including member meetings.
Leigh is also an accredited UK press card holder and a member of the National Union of Journalists.

“It is a necessary condition of the freedom of the press to act in the public interest.”

Harold Evans, Sunday Times editor 1967-1981

Over the past five years Exeter Observer has published more than 550 news stories, features, investigations, community and culture previews, galleries, newsletters and special reports.

It often sets the local news agenda, offering insight about what’s going in Exeter that you won’t find anywhere else and breaking major stories only for legacy media to get the facts wrong and fail to scratch the surface.

Its website serves over a million page views each year and its readership and subscriber base have doubled in the past twelve months.

More about Exeter Observer

Exeter Observer is published by Exeter Observer Limited, Community Benefit Society No. 8435 registered under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014.

Our registered address is St Sidwell’s Community Centre, Sidwell Street, Exeter EX4 6NN.

Recent stories
Howell Road garage student block illustrative elevation

NEWS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

Howell Road garage for sale a week after student block redevelopment plans granted at appeal

Developer denied he would 'spin in and spin out and take my profit' at planning committee that approved 'backstop' plans for nine flats on site, saying student block was 'what we want to build'.

Howell Road garage

NEWS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

26-bed Howell Road garage site student accommodation block allowed at appeal

St James Neighbourhood Plan community balance aims discounted and council policy and evidence deemed insufficient in inspector's decision to overturn planning committee refusal.

Exeter Academy English language school in Sylvan Road, Pennsylvania

ANALYSIS  ⁄  TRANSPORT & MOBILITY

Plan to convert language school to nursery to test credibility of city council active travel policy

Exeter Academy sits near top of steep hill 250 feet above city, far from accessible bus and rail routes, but developer claims local plan compliance in 'demonstrably sustainable location' which is 'conducive to sustainable modes of travel'.

Corner of Fore Street and West Street with St Mary Steps church in the background

NEWS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

Developers claim council planning committee refusal was 'if not malevolent, certainly misguided'

Appeal against decision to deny fifth additional storey in build-to-rent scheme above Crankhouse Coffee accuses councillors of seeking to 'appease the weight of objectors' orchestrated opinion' against amendments to eleven year-old consent.

Exeter City Council ballot share by ward 2016 to 2024 line graph

ANALYSIS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

Exeter bucks national trend as Labour support falls 6% and party loses vote share in all but one ward

Independent group, Greens and LibDems all take seats and Conservatives increase share in four wards as Labour stays in control of council after close call in Mincinglake & Whipton, holds in key battlegrounds and third Topsham win.

, updated

Exeter City Council 2024 local elections results party seat distribution

BRIEFINGS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

Exeter City Council 2024 local elections results

The votes cast for each candidate with vote share and vote share change by party in each ward, plus turnout and the distribution of seats.

, updated

On Our Radar
More stories
2024 Exeter local elections guide graphic showing current council seat distribution

ANALYSIS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

2024 Exeter local elections guide

City council elections take place on Thursday 2 May. Our comprehensive guide covers who's standing where, wards to watch and the backdrop to this year's ballot, which promises to be the most unpredictable contest in years.

Exeter Labour 2024 campaign leaflet

COMMENT  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

Council raids community fund for £6 million to pay for eight year-old food waste collection promise

Emergency decision to finance materials reclamation facility investment taken less than a week before 2024 local elections campaign officially began.

Exeter Community Lottery homepage

ANALYSIS  ⁄  COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

Australian multinational is biggest council lottery winner as 92% of local causes receive less than £500

Operator collects £26,000 and city council £16,000 in first nine months as public support for Exeter voluntary and community organisations turned into private profit.

Devon County Council Devon and Torbay devolution deal consultation results bar chart

COMMENT  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

County council to impose new local government tier despite majority opposition to devolution deal

Emptiness of claims that new combined authority will be accountable reflected in failure to respect consultation results as all eight Devon district councils decry prospective democratic deficit.

Electoral Commission voting options graphic

BRIEFINGS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

When, where and how to vote in the 2024 Exeter local elections

Our guide to casting your ballot in person, by post and by proxy as well as voter ID requirements and new regulations for postal votes.

Auditor value for money arrangements recommendations summary chart

ANALYSIS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

Auditor broadens inquiry to include Exeter City Futures and ex-CEO secondment to liquidated company

More 'significant weaknesses' found in city council governance and financial and performance management arrangements while St Sidwell's Point valued at £7 million less than build cost and £370,000 ex-CEO final year pay and benefits confirmed.

Spotlight
Spring 2024 community share offer

Exeter Observer celebrates five years of local public interest news publishing

Invest in our Spring 2024 community share offer to help us deliver all the independent journalism Exeter needs and make it five more.

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