Exeter Observer blog
Exeter Live Better sugarloaf cable car

Council reveals plan for "Pods in Exeter's Sky" to beat city congestion

Exeter City Futures proposal connects key city sites with a network of Alpine-style cable cars as an alternative to traffic improvement measures.

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 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 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 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.


Help power our public interest journalism

News
The Gorge co-living block classic studio room floorplan

PLANNING & PLACE

First Exeter "co-living" block comes on stream with rooms at £946pcm+

Even "affordable" rooms in six storey 133-unit Gladstone Road block would leave many local key workers living below minimum income threshold.

Summerland Street co-living block redevelopment site

PLANNING & PLACE

Council paves way for 186-bed "co-living" block in Summerland Street

Freedom of information request reveals intended scale of development after executive committee takes decision behind closed doors.

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.

Analysis
Exeter City Council government borrowing 2014-2022 bar chart

ECONOMY & ENTERPRISE

Council borrowing nearly triples in three years as property acquisitions and development loans mount

Freedom of information request reveals five paragraph "outline business plan" for £55 million Guildhall shopping centre investment.

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.

Comment
Extinction Rebellion UK tour bus outside Exeter City Council's Paris Street offices

CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

World car free day ignored in Exeter as Extinction Rebellion challenges council climate inaction

Protestors gathered outside council offices as CEO Karime Hassan posed for photo with construction company development manager at Princesshay promotion.

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.

Notes & sketches
  • Race in pole position

    Exeter Labour looks set to pick Steve Race as the party’s parliamentary candidate at the next general election after retiring incumbent Ben Bradshaw anointed his former assistant as his heir apparent in what has been a fairly safe Labour seat since the 1997 landslide...

    DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

  • Bundling boards

    The third in a series of city council scrutiny meetings intended to satisfy councillors that Exeter Development Fund is a way to put Exeter on the map rather than the council’s financial viability at risk took place last week...

    DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

  • Irrationale by design?

    The second of two RAMM-hosted Liveable Exeter promotional events, focussed on Exeter’s future as a “garden city”, took place last night with the city council’s Director of City Development, Ian Collinson topping the bill...

    PLANNING & PLACE

  • The Exeter Digest

    Exeter Digest #16: Co-living costs - Summerland Street tower - Car free day ignored

    Our essential newsletter also includes a selection of community and culture events and signposts our briefing on the new Exeter Local Plan.

    Exeter Digest #15: Bus back better? - Net zero redundancy - Development fund under fire

    Our bumper holiday newsletter also covers a St. James' HMO appeal, planning enforcement changes, scope 3 emissions failure, cycling and walking strategy delays and property development promotion as community planning participation.

    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.

    All topics

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