Exeter City Council
Exeter City Council government borrowing 2014-2022 bar chart

ANALYSIS  ⁄  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.

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

COMMENT  ⁄  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.

Summerland Street co-living block redevelopment site

NEWS  ⁄  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 City Futures Exeter Development Fund presentation slide

COMMENT  ⁄  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.

Liveable Exeter community engagement with council development director Ian Collinson

COMMENT  ⁄  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?

Exeter Article 4 Direction area July 2011 map

NEWS  ⁄  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

NEWS  ⁄  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 City Futures website - vision & mission summary

ANALYSIS  ⁄  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.

Rob Hannaford and Karime Hassan at Exeter City Council's June 2022 strategic scrutiny committee meeting

COMMENT  ⁄  CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

Net Zero Exeter accountability under scrutiny

Exeter City Council's response to the climate crisis has so far been characterised by numerous failings. Unfortunately its attitude towards accountability for its actions in this area is also cause for concern.

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

ANALYSIS  ⁄  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.

Exeter 2020 net internal migration by age group bar chart

ANALYSIS  ⁄  ECONOMY & ENTERPRISE

Exeter beset by unaffordable housing, low graduate retention and economically inactive over 50's

Exeter City Council executive ignores key challenges flagged in major council-commissioned employment and skills research report.

  • NOTES & SKETCHES

    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

  • Exeter Statement of Community Involvement cover

    NEWS  ⁄  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.

    Flowerpot Playing Fields

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

    Will Exeter College fence off Exwick community playing fields?

    Exeter College redevelopment plans at Exwick and Flowerpot Playing Fields threaten a three metre fence around public-accessible playing fields and their replacement with artificial turf. Will it change course after widespread objections?

    Exeter City Council 2022 annual meeting 17 May 2022

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

    Labour councillors appointed to all fourteen city council committee chairs at annual meeting

    Council leader falsely claims "overwhelming majority" voted Labour in Exeter local elections while circumvention of council decision-making scrutiny continues.

    Exeter City Council party seat distribution after 2022 local elections

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

    Greens take three seats from Labour so Progressive Group replaces Conservatives as official opposition

    Conservative loss in Topsham among significant vote share changes in 2022 Exeter City Council elections suggesting city's political landscape in flux.

    2022-23 band D council tax charges ranges (England)

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

    Do Exeter Labour election campaign claims stand up to scrutiny? Coda: Council tax

    The last part of our 2022 local elections series is a coda examining Exeter Labour's claim that the city has one of the lowest rates of council tax in the country.

    2022 Exeter local elections guide graphic

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

    2022 Exeter local elections guide

    City council elections take place on Thursday 5 May. Our essential guide highlights who's standing where, wards to watch and what the results might look like and mean. We also outline their context and explain when, where and how to vote.

    Climate delay discourse typology

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

    Do Exeter Labour election campaign claims stand up to scrutiny? Part III: Climate & environment

    The third in our 2022 local elections series examines Exeter Labour claims about climate crisis leadership, renewable energy, recycling, retrofitting and development standards as well as decisions to scrap council and city decarbonisation goals.

  • NOTES & SKETCHES

    Brownfield or green?

    At yesterday’s second scrutiny meeting in the series being orchestrated by the city council to air Exeter City Futures’ ideas about using Exeter as an urban guinea pig for its development fund project it was Frazer Osment’s turn to play the ringer...

    DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

  • Exeter city councillors with low attendance levels during 2021-22 - stacked bar graph

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

    Low attendance levels among some councillors mean Exeter electors get varying value for their votes

    As part of our 2022 Exeter local elections coverage we have assessed the past year's attendance figures for public council meetings as a measure of councillor commitment to their constituents.

    Shops to let on Exeter High Street

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  ECONOMY & ENTERPRISE

    Do Exeter Labour election campaign claims stand up to scrutiny? Part II: Economy & city centre

    The second in our 2022 local elections series examines Exeter Labour claims about the city centre and Exeter's wider economy, including its misrepresentation of content marketing materials as authoritative sources of information about the city.

    Exeter Labour manifesto for Exeter City Council 2022 elections - front cover

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

    Do Exeter Labour election campaign claims stand up to scrutiny? Part I: Exeter's housing crisis

    The first instalment in our 2022 local elections coverage examines Exeter Labour claims related to the housing crisis overtaking the city.

    Net Zero Exeter 2030 plan cover edit

    NEWS  ⁄  CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

    Exeter City Council abandons city 2030 decarbonisation "ambition"

    Unannounced decision to exclude scope 3 emissions constituting around 43% of Exeter's carbon footprint from "net zero" plans effectively ensures city will not meet its decarbonisation goals.

    Exeter Live Better sugarloaf cable car

    BLOG

    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.

  • NOTES & SKETCHES

    It's scrutiny Jim, but not as it should be

    The city council kicked off a quartet of scrutiny meetings intended to pave the way for councillors to give Exeter Development Fund a green light with a session last night that resembled a sales pitch...

    DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

  • Vaughan Road Exeter City Living development site

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

    Why does Exeter City Council evade public scrutiny of Exeter City Living property development decisions?

    Significant decisions concerning the council-owned company are being taken in secret despite transparency legislation and assurances when it was created, with governance and scrutiny arrangements also potentially putting the council at risk.

    Exeter student house in multiple occupation

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

    Council consultants confirm 58% of Exeter's university students live in city's residential housing stock

    2021-22 university figures suggest there are now more than 4,500 student HMOs in the city, consistent with ONS findings, with number set to surpass Exeter's council housing provision.

    Exeter City Council in session at Exeter Guildhall

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

    Exeter City Futures secondment decision may be unlawful

    Backbench city councillors denied scrutiny call-in powers to challenge controversial decision to send chief executive and senior director to work for private company.

    Guildhall shopping centre sale brochure cover

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

    £55 million Guildhall shopping centre decision may breach local government transparency rules

    Exeter City Council decision to purchase and redevelop shopping centre may be unlawful, ineffective and subject to judicial review, increasing already significant commercial investment risks.

  • NOTES & SKETCHES

    We heart climate crisis

    Anyone who might have been tempted to believe that the climate crisis is at the heart of everything Exeter City Council does (as it repeatedly claims) need look no further than its response to the consultation on the Devon climate assembly’s output report for clarification...

    CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

  • Karime Hassan, Phil Bialyk, Tony Rowe and Paul Thomas at Sandy Park hotel development site

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

    Decision to send council CEO and director to work for Exeter City Futures is "disservice to citizens"

    City council disregards governance, risk and conflict of interest issues despite cross-party challenges and conflates decarbonisation agenda with property development financing scheme.

  • NOTES & SKETCHES

    In other urban sprawl news

    A development of up to 80 residential dwellings on a ten acre greenfield site alongside Exwick Lane has been given the go ahead at appeal...

    PLANNING & PLACE

  • Devon council climate action plan Climate Emergency UK scorecard scores bar chart

    NEWS  ⁄  CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

    Exeter decarbonisation plans found wanting in nationwide council climate action plan study

    Somerset West and Taunton highest scoring local authority area with East Devon in third place nationally in comprehensive Climate Emergency UK analysis.

    Pennsylvania housing stock in Sylvan Road, Exeter

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

    Pennsylvania petitioners expose fifteen years of flawed student accommodation policy-making

    City council policies based on faulty premises, inaccurate information and miscalculated projections have failed to prevent mass student occupation of Exeter residential housing stock despite the proliferation of Purpose Built Student Accommodation across the city.

  • NOTES & SKETCHES

    Money for nothing

    The Chartered Institute for Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA) closed its consultation on draft changes to the Prudential Code last month, following a preliminary consultation earlier this year. The code governs how much councils can borrow to invest and what forms of commercial activity they are permitted to pursue...

    DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

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

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

    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.

  • NOTES & SKETCHES

    Net Zero Exeter 2030?

    Research by University of Exeter students has concluded that local councils need to provide clearer and more accessible information on how they are addressing the climate emergency...

    CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

  • NOTES & SKETCHES

    Public sector pay pals?

    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...

    ECONOMY & ENTERPRISE

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

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

    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.

    Independent local business on Paris Street, Exeter

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

    Prospects improve for pop-up Paris Street and Sidwell Street tenants wanting to stay on development site

    Council leader Phil Bialyk says it will be "some years" before planned CityPoint redevelopment affects repurposed retail units, and that council "would want" to accommodate artistic and cultural initiatives and independent local businesses "should they wish to remain".

  • NOTES & SKETCHES

    May the force be with UNESCO

    Torbay and Exeter’s joint UK city of culture bid, said to be inspired by the “closely connected coastal and city destinations” despite Brixham and Exeter being an hour and a half apart by public transport, didn’t make it onto the longlist of eight places which have caught the eye of culture vulture and escapee celebrity Nadine Dorries...

    ARTS & CULTURE

  • Clifton Hill sports centre

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

    Council plans to scrap affordable housing requirement for Clifton Hill sports centre site redevelopment

    Council-owned and financed developer cites unpublished report which values council-owned land for student housing despite council decision ruling out this use.

  • NOTES & SKETCHES

    Exeter City Council scraps own "unachievable" carbon emissions target

    In an extraordinary reversal, the city council removed the goal of achieving carbon neutral operations by 2022 from its corporate risk register at an Audit & Governance committee meeting last week...

    CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

  • NOTES & SKETCHES

    Bonanza on the buses

    There was no shortage of hyperbole to accompany last Sunday’s opening of Exeter’s glamorous new bus station...

    TRANSPORT & MOBILITY

  • NOTES & SKETCHES

    Priory vs Pinhoe

    Initial proposals for changes to parliamentary constituency boundaries which will come into force in late 2023, and so are likely to affect the next general election, are currently out for consultation...

    DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

  • Exeter Digest #6: Liveable Exeter Place Board double bill - Scrutiny under scrutiny - Catastrophic climate change or cake?

    In the sixth edition of our newsletter we review key stories from the past few weeks, get some perspective on our predicament and find some unlikely claims on a local Labour leaflet.

    Liveable Exeter Place Board agenda October 2020 redacted

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

    City council outsourcing Exeter local government to unaccountable Liveable Exeter Place Board

    An Exeter Observer investigation of Liveable Exeter Place Board has found that it is a de facto decision-making and governance body which exercises public functions with the potential to affect everyone who lives and works in Exeter.

    Exeter city centre from Exeter Cathedral roof

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

    Freedom of information requests reveal Liveable Exeter Place Board "chumocracy" overseeing the city

    Despite the significance of Liveable Exeter Place Board's role in determining the city's future, its members are selected and appointed on a secretive, informal basis.

    Harlequins revised redevelopment scheme illustrative elevation

    NEWS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

    Harlequins developer plans to scrap hotel to build second "co-living" block on shopping centre site

    Existing planning approval will be factor in decision to return to earlier, rejected, vision which would mean 378 studios and "cluster flat" rooms along Paul Street.

  • NOTES & SKETCHES

    Free to those who can afford it

    Torbay Council, Torbay Development Agency and Exeter City Council have “joined forces” to bid for 2025 UK City of Culture status, with their eyes on a prize of £300 million in claimed economic benefits...

    ARTS & CULTURE

  • Positive Light Projects - Sidwell Street entrance

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  ARTS & CULTURE

    Positive Light Projects opens community arts centre despite CityPoint redevelopment threat

    Parts of Exeter city centre are experiencing an unplanned renaissance as small shops and cultural venues move in to fill empty units on Paris Street and Sidwell Street, but uncertainty remains as the council still plans to demolish and redevelop.

  • NOTES & SKETCHES

    Partnership agreement of the week

    In a hotly-contested field, this week’s winner must surely be the new Exeter Civic University Agreement, which found its way onto last night’s city council Executive agenda...

    ECONOMY & ENTERPRISE

  • New Haven Field in Exeter's Riverside Valley Park

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

    River Exe green spaces and heritage harbour site threatened by "Liveable Exeter" development scheme

    Exeter Civic Society and Green, Liberal Democrat and Independent councillors raise alarm at prospect of Exeter City Council development in river valley park and historic canal basin.

    Clydesdale, Nash and Birks Grange Village redevelopment illustrative elevations

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

    University drops environmental standards for huge student flats development with council approval

    University of Exeter and Exeter City Council both ignore own policies in plans to demolish 30 buildings and construct 50,000m2 of new student accommodation, telling us more about their priorities than their climate leadership claims.

  • NOTES & SKETCHES

    Longbrook Street PBSA gifted second life

    Exeter City Council planning officers have approved the renewal of planning permission for an eight storey 108-bed student accommodation block on the site of the King Billy public house which had previously been granted in April 2018 and since lapsed...

    PLANNING & PLACE

  • District heating network diagram

    NEWS  ⁄  CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

    South West Exeter district heating network plan abandoned

    Property developers refuse to back scheme despite local authorities committing £7.3 million to project to supply 2500 new homes with waste heat from Marsh Barton incinerator, Exeter's largest single source of carbon emissions.

  • NOTES & SKETCHES

    Marking their own homework

    Exeter City Council’s ruling Labour group reallocated the city’s committee seats at its annual meeting last week...

    DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

  • Exeter City Council 2021 election results ballot share percentage by ward

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

    Did Exeter's local elections results tell a Labour success story?

    Exeter Labour lost just one seat in the city council elections and held all seven of its county hall seats, but on closer inspection its performance was more mixed than these headline results imply.

    Net Zero Exeter logo

    COMMENT  ⁄  CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

    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.

    Exeter Digest #2: Exeter local elections guide - Majority want net zero by 2030 - Council meetings to resume in person

    With the local elections a week today and a bank holiday weekend on its way we thought we'd publish our second edition a day early to give you extra time to take your pick of our top stories.

    Exeter City Council in session at Exeter Guildhall - Inauguration of Lord Mayor

    NEWS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

    High Court rules council meetings must resume in person after local elections

    Case seeking judgement to allow local authority meetings to continue remotely when temporary coronavirus regulations expire fails to override requirement for primary legislation.

  • NOTES & SKETCHES

    So many questions

    Quote of the week must surely go to Exeter City Council leader Phil Bialyk for: “Sorry, chair, I just need to refer to some of my other notes, if you’ll just bear with me”...

    DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

  • Electoral Commission ballot box graphic

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

    2021 Exeter local elections guide

    Elections for Exeter City Council, Devon County Council and the Devon & Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner are taking place in Exeter on 6 May. Our essential election guide highlights wards and divisions to watch, changes taking place and how, when and where to vote.

    Exeter the musical promo poster

    BLOG

    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.

    Centre for Cities Exeter City Monitor graphic

    COMMENT  ⁄  ECONOMY & ENTERPRISE

    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.

    Maclaines Warehouses beside Exeter ship canal

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

    Maclaines Warehouses development tests Exeter Heritage Harbour status

    Decisions taken behind closed doors in favour of commercial interests threaten maritime and waterway heritage vision for Exeter’s historic quay, canal and canal basin.

    Exeter Guildhall needs repairs

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

    £37.5 million council maintenance backlog caused by underinvestment to be part-funded by asset sales

    Exeter City Council has allowed property assets to deteriorate while prioritising new schemes including the £44 million St. Sidwell's Point leisure centre, forcing it to identify assets for sale to pay its outstanding repair bills.

    Independent councillor Jemima Moore campaigns in Newtown during the 2019 Exeter local elections

    NEWS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

    Door to door campaigning for May local elections to go ahead after all

    Government announces relaxation of coronavirus restrictions on election canvassing from next Monday 8 March in step with planned lockdown rule changes.

    Exeter City Council offices on Paris Street

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

    Council pushes back on Liveable Exeter Place Board scrutiny following membership change

    Exeter City Council has responded to an enquiry about disproportionate Church of England representation on the Liveable Exeter Place Board by accusing Exeter Observer of promoting a "partisan narrative" and claiming our public interest reporting "bears no resemblance to fact".

    Devon County Council local authority pension fund fossil fuel investment bar chart

    NEWS  ⁄  CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

    Report places Devon County Council among UK's top local authority fossil fuel investors

    £157 million of Devon Local Government Pension Scheme is invested in companies including Royal Dutch Shell, BP, BHP, Anglo American and ExxonMobil despite local authority climate emergency declarations and carbon reduction commitments.

    Exeter polling station

    NEWS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

    May local elections to go ahead despite COVID-19 challenges

    Ban on doorstep canvassing and door to door leaflet distribution likely to favour the two major parties on 6 May as postal and proxy voting encouraged in Exeter City Council, Devon County Council and Devon & Cornwall Police and Crime Commissioner elections.

    Exeter energy recovery facility

    NEWS  ⁄  CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

    District heating network planned for new South West Exeter development

    Local councils are investing up to £7.3 million in a £23 million project to supply a development of 2500 homes with heat which depends on the Marsh Barton waste incinerator, Exeter's largest single source of carbon emissions.

    Harlequins shopping centre

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

    First Liveable Exeter homes are substandard "warehousing for people" which is student accommodation "in all but name"

    Harlequins shopping centre redevelopment approved by Exeter City Council includes 251 co-living units in seven storey tower block despite widespread opposition from conservation charities and community campaigners who have since appealed to the Secretary of State to call in the decision.

    Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital Wonford NHS Trust parking sign

    NEWS  ⁄  CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

    Hospital creates parking for 200 cars despite city climate crisis goals

    Royal Devon & Exeter Hospital says new parking "temporary" but no end-date given in planning application and no hard evidence of need provided.

    St. Sidwell's Point development site outline aerial view

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

    Exeter City Council executive members take direct control of city planning decisions

    Council's executive now possesses majority on city planning committee, with council leader and planning portfolio holder also included despite national guidance, offering basis to challenge decisions and increasing democratic deficit.

    Net Zero Exeter 2030 plan proposals vs Exeter territorial emissions vs Exeter carbon footprint bar chart

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

    Is the "Net Zero" Exeter plan fit for purpose?

    Exeter City Futures' carbon reduction plan ignores over a million tonnes of carbon emissions and massively underestimates the challenges facing the city.

    Food retailers at Queen Street Dining in Exeter Guildhall shopping centre

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

    Unelected Liveable Exeter Place Board created to oversee city from the shadows

    Exeter City Council has convened an unelected board that meets in private, does not publish its discussions or decisions and is taking responsibility for major policies which will determine Exeter's future.

    Great Western Hotel beside Exeter St. David's railway station

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

    Exeter rough sleepers in COVID-19 emergency accommodation face uncertain future

    Exeter City Council has yet to confirm whether it will use any of the £2.15m Rough Sleeping Initiative funding it has received since 2018 to keep housing rough sleepers when government emergency accommodation funding runs out.

    Exeter City Futures Net Zero Exeter 2030 plan

    NEWS  ⁄  CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

    Exeter City Council accepts climate emergency plan to make city carbon neutral by 2030

    Chief Executive warns that resourcing the plan is "problematic" given COVID-19 financial challenges and that lack of resources limits the council's capacity for immediate practical action.

    Exeter Cathedral and Quay car park top deck

    NEWS  ⁄  TRANSPORT & MOBILITY

    Coronavirus halts decision to spend £3.9 million on car park repairs and upgrade

    Exeter City Council spending plans will be revisited in June at same time as Net Zero Exeter carbon reduction plan is discussed by Executive.

    Pulling Road Pinhoe Exeter zero carbon housing development site plan

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

    Exeter's first "zero carbon" housing development includes 96 car parking spaces for 40 homes

    Exeter City Council has approved plans to develop land at Pinhoe with a parking ratio of 2.4 cars per household as part of an "exemplar scheme for future residential development in the city" while accepting that zero carbon construction comes "at a cost to the provision of affordable housing".

    Night shelter for homeless and rough sleepers in Magdalen Street, Exeter (front)

    NEWS  ⁄  COMMUNITY & SOCIETY

    Exeter rough sleepers night shelter to open all year round

    Exeter City Council has approved plans to extend Magdalen Street night shelter opening from April to the end of September.

    Exeter Princesshay deserted under COVID-19 coronavirus lockdown

    NEWS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

    Exeter City Council announces £1.584m April budget shortfall caused by COVID-19 restrictions

    Council revenues have fallen dramatically during the coronavirus pandemic, prompting a £6.357 million capital spending deferment. But financial support from government has so far been limited.

    Small retail businesses on Paris Street, Exeter

    NEWS  ⁄  ECONOMY & ENTERPRISE

    Half of COVID-19 support grants unclaimed by Exeter businesses

    Exeter City Council in bottom third of local authorities as only 45% of eligible local businesses claim government coronavirus support money.

    Exeter City Futures Blueprint for a Carbon Neutral Exeter by 2030 graphic

    COMMENT  ⁄  CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

    Is Exeter finally responding to the climate emergency?

    A surge of activity about action to combat climate change is taking place in Exeter, including the publication of a carbon neutral blueprint pending a "mobilisation summit", but detail and evidence is still missing and community engagement is falling short of debate.

    Exeter Youth Strike 4 Climate banners on South Street

    NEWS  ⁄  CLIMATE & ENVIRONMENT

    Exeter climate strike anniversary march brings junction to standstill

    Protestors form human chain around County Hall to highlight Devon County Council's role as key regional climate policy decision-maker after Exeter City Council confiscates banners promoting carbon neutral blueprint policies.

    Exeter net zero carbon housing pilot project in Chestnut Avenue in Wonford

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

    Exeter net zero housing revolution takes root in Chestnut Avenue

    Exeter City Council is taking exploratory steps from talking about a zero carbon future to delivering one with a pilot housing project in Wonford.

    Exeter City Council accounts delayed by auditors Grant Thornton

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

    Exeter & East Devon council accounts delayed by Grant Thornton's "lack of staff resources"

    Annual accounts for local government, including Exeter City Council, have been delayed by private sector firms failing to complete their work on time after cost-cutting government auditing reforms.

    Exeter election polling station

    NEWS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

    Conservatives hold Topsham in Exeter city council by-election

    A by-election held on general election day produced an unusually high turnout but a lower Conservative vote share than at the May local elections.

    Exeter City Council cuts executive decision-making scrutiny

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

    Exeter City Council cuts scrutiny of executive decision-making

    Constitutional changes proposed by Exeter City Council will make it more difficult to hold the ruling political group to account.

    Exeter City Council public toilet closures Exeter Live Better hoarding

    COMMENT  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

    Exeter could do better - was there no alternative to closing so many public toilets?

    Exeter City Council did not need to close thirteen public toilets to balance the books. The money to keep them open was available in reserves, but no mention of this option was made during public decision-making by councillors or officers.

    Dutch living streets woonerf sign

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  TRANSPORT & MOBILITY

    We already know what to do about the climate crisis. We must get on with doing it as fast as we can.

    Exeter and Devon council leaders must begin rapid regional decarbonisation now. The quickest, cheapest way to cut emissions in Exeter is to deter combustion engines from entering the city. Clean air legislation offers a basis for action.

    Exeter City Council public toilet closure notice

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

    Caught short - balancing the books in a hurry

    Exeter City Council has unapologetically confirmed its decision to close 13 public toilets as a money-saving measure with full knowledge of its expected effect on residents and visitors. Can we expect other spending cuts to be handled the same way?

    Front elevations of proposed development at Mount Radford Lawn

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

    Mount Radford Lawn development proposals conflict with St Leonards community vision

    Exeter Deaf Academy hopes to sell a school playing field to developers who plan to build luxury homes. Local residents have other ideas about how best to use the land. A dispute is looming over an historic green space driven by prospective profit from planning gain.

    Exeter City Council city centre wards map

    NEWS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

    Exeter Labour loses local elections in all three city centre wards

    Voters in Exeter yesterday elected three new councillors to represent them in the key wards that cover the city centre, with all the city's ruling Exeter Labour group candidates missing out despite the party's confident campaign.

    Jemima Moore campaigning in Exeter local elections

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  DEMOCRACY & GOVERNANCE

    Local resident stands as independent candidate in Exeter elections

    Jemima Moore is a 36 year-old part-time primary school teacher and mother of two young children with little political experience. So why has she decided to stand for election to Exeter City Council on 2 May?

    Exeter Clifton Hill sports centre

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

    Clifton Hill sports centre – the background

    Storm Emma met the Beast from the East and dumped a huge amount of snow on the roof of Exeter's Clifton Hill sports centre, setting off a chain reaction which has ignited two campaigns and put Exeter City Council's approaches to competence and openness into sharp focus.

    Greater Exeter Strategic Plan banner

    ANALYSIS  ⁄  PLANNING & PLACE

    Is the Greater Exeter Strategic Plan GESPing for air?

    The Greater Exeter Strategic Plan has been a long time in gestation. When it finally arrives, will it deliver?

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