Exeter Observer blog
St Sidwell's Community Centre Sidwell Day

St Sid's holds double celebration of community centre's 20th anniversary and Sidwella Day

Local residents are invited to an afternoon of live music, good food, heritage tours and garden discovery trail in honour of Sidwella, Exeter's patron saint.

Exeter local elections campaign materials

Do Exeter election leaflets stretch the truth and make promises that don't get delivered?

Help us hold candidates to account across the city by sending in campaign materials so we can factcheck them and test election pledges against what actually happens.

The Exeter Digest - Exeter Observer's essential free email newsletter

Exeter Observer publishes The Exeter Digest #1

In the first edition of our new email newsletter we introduced our format and brought subscribers up to date with our coverage over the past couple of months.

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Exeter Observer joins Covering Climate Now partnership

Initiative of more than 460 media organisations around the globe aims to increase circulation of climate coverage by uniting the global press around reporting the climate crisis.

Exeter the musical promo poster

Council announces plan to produce "Exeter the Musical" at city's Corn Exchange

Exeter City Council has announced a plan to produce a musical theatre extravaganza billed as "an ambitious celebration of a better life in the world's most world-class city" as part of its UNESCO City of Literature celebrations.

An open letter to all members of the Exeter Observer team

The situation is changing quickly. The electoral commission have proposed the cancellation of the May local elections, several universities are moving to online-only teaching and it seems likely that there will be a wave of event cancellation announcements early next week.

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Free two day news writing seminar on 14 & 21 March

Want to help hold wealth, power and influence to account in Exeter & East Devon? Get involved in a new independent public interest community journalism project!

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Next community journalism course begins 22 February 2020

Want to help hold wealth, power and influence to account in Exeter & East Devon? Get involved in a new independent public interest community journalism project!

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Exeter Observer joins Independent Community News Network

Exeter Observer's application to join the ICNN has been successful, connecting us to a network of more than a hundred similar projects across the UK.

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Free introductory community journalism courses start 11 January 2020

Want to help hold wealth, power and influence to account in Exeter & East Devon? Get involved in a new independent public interest community journalism project!

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Exeter Observer joins BBC Local News Partnerships

Exeter Observer's application to join the BBC Local News Partnerships has been successful, granting access to the BBC News Hub and Shared Data Unit and the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

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Exeter Observer agrees regulatory framework with IMPRESS

Exeter Observer is now regulated by IMPRESS, the only Leveson-compliant PRP-recognised independent UK press monitor.


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Analysis
Protestors hold Devon County Council stop funding fossil fuel companies banner in Bedford Square

County council doubles down on pension fund divestment position

Devon Pension Fund remains committed to fossil fuel investment despite increasingly untenable pension fund committee position that relies on unfounded shareholder influence claims and failure to understand sector position and plans.

Harlequins revised redevelopment scheme - block two model view Paul Street elevation

Exeter City Council approves second Harlequins "co-living" block, sealing fate of Paul Street

Previously rejected vision will now form basis of "abysmal" and "poorly thought through" Liveable Exeter development of 383 "units of accommodation" with increased proportion of substandard studios but reduced economic value to city.

Exeter City Council climate credentials claim in St Sidwells Point development hoarding

Greens call for evidence-based Exeter carbon budget as city council clings to net zero rhetoric

The Net Zero Exeter plan lacks baseline emissions figures, recognised scope definitions and measurement and reporting frameworks, placing the city's decarbonisation agenda at risk. The opportunity for Exeter to demonstrate genuine climate crisis leadership nevertheless remains.

News
Universities social mobility scatter chart showing University of Exeter ranking

University of Exeter ranked bottom of Russell Group and 103rd overall in social mobility league table

Landmark study by Institute for Fiscal Studies, Sutton Trust and Department for Education finds University of Exeter undergraduates are less likely to come from disadvantaged backgrounds, and those that do are less likely to be high earners.

Reclaim the Night march on Exeter High Street

500 march in Reclaim the Night protest against sexual violence and harassment on Exeter streets

Annual event promoting public awareness of male violence against women and girls in public spaces coincides with international human rights campaigns.

Black-tailed godwits in Exe Estuary

Exe Estuary wildlife refuges succeed in increasing bird numbers

Three year monitoring study confirms introduction of protected spaces has resulted in greater numbers of wildfowl using internationally important Dawlish Warren and Exmouth sites.

Reviews
St Thomas Community Garden volunteers

First St Thomas winter market brings festival feel to "overlooked" area of Exeter

A community-run event at St Thomas' Church combined artisan traders with music, storytelling and craft workshops to create a family-friendly festival atmosphere.

Exeter Extinction Rebellion activists fly flag outside COP26 Exeter event at Maketank with COP26 Exeter photography project in window

COP-EXE event showcases local responses to global climate crisis

Exeter city centre venues last week hosted exhibitions promoting local action to mitigate the climate crisis in tandem with the COP26 conference in Glasgow.

Kinder Exeter community festival on Cathedral Green

Kinder Exeter community festival brings compassion and colour to city centre

Week-long event bringing artists, academics, students and communities together for online and outdoor activities was first of planned annual festivals facilitated by Maketank artists' collective.

Comment
Cargo bike carrying kids in Exeter

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.

Net Zero Exeter logo

Is Exeter City Council going to abandon its Net Zero 2030 target?

Review suggests alignment with Devon Carbon Plan, currently aimed at 50% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and net zero by 2050, citing "technical and financial challenges ahead", although change in policy would require decision by councillors after 6 May local elections.

Centre for Cities Exeter City Monitor graphic

Selective use of statistics presents an unbalanced account of Exeter's economic & environmental status

Exeter City Council's Chief Executive uses statistics to show the city in a good light, but in doing so presents a picture which omits important information about the city's true position.

Galleries

Exeter activists criticise corporate climate crisis claims with city centre bus shelter subvertising

As the 2021 United Nations climate change conference (COP26) begins in Glasgow, activists post parody bus shelter adverts aimed at corporate greenwashing in Exeter city centre.

Exeter climate campaigners protest at £157 million Devon Pension Fund fossil fuel investment

Fridays for Future Exeter led a march through the city to County Hall where demonstrators called on Devon County Council to divest the local public sector pension scheme it manages from fossil fuels.

Exeter climate strikers create human chain around County Hall

Fridays for Future Exeter led a march through the city to form a human chain around County Hall in protest at climate change inaction.

Interviews
Greta Thunberg outside the Swedish parliament building in August 2018

Greta Thunberg calls on world leaders for honesty at COP26

An interview with climate activist Greta Thunberg on the eve of the COP26 summit published in partnership with Covering Climate Now, a global media collaboration.

UN Secretary General António Guterres briefs the media

António Guterres on the climate crisis: "We are coming to a point of no return"

An interview with the UN Secretary General on the eve of the G7 summit in Cornwall published as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration.

Molly Scott Cato at the European Parliament

Is EU membership essential to our ability to deal with the climate emergency?

Molly Scott Cato, Green Party MEP for the South West, visited Exeter during her re-election campaign to explain why the EU and its Green Group is leading the way on a wide range of progressive policies.

Previews
Photo of The Jambassadors by Gabe Riedlinger

Jambassadors feature in pop-up Jazz Toast at Barnfield Theatre

Musical director Roz Harding invites us to join an Exeter College Music Academy student collective in a one-night-only experimental exploration of in-the-moment improvisation.

Rainbow Trail LGBTQIA+ exhibition queers RAMM for Exeter Pride 2019

Rainbow Trail LGBTQIA+ exhibition queers RAMM for Exeter Pride 2019

A new collaboration between X-Plore Youth Devon, Exeter College LGBTQ+ society, Natalie McGrath of Dreadnought SW and Dr Jana Funke of the University of Exeter explores gender and sexual diversity across time, place and culture by reimagining objects from the RAMM collections.