The (city) centre cannot hold

Exeter councillors’ unanimous decision to reject the application for the Moor Exchange retail park suggests they have not grasped the changes in the city’s retail  environment nor the significance of the eastward spread of housing.   On Monday 13 March Exeter City Council’s Planning Committee unanimously disagreed with their officers’ recommendation to give outline planning … More The (city) centre cannot hold

Upon Sidwella’s Day

St Sidwella could do more for Exeter than she (probably) ever dreamed of.   St Sidwell’s Church on Exeter’s Sidwell Street commemorates the late St Sidwella, believed to have been alive in the 6th century.  Sidwella (whose name derives from all manner of genealogical speculation) is said to have been a modest, chaste, virginal, devout, … More Upon Sidwella’s Day

Put out some flags!

Two important decisions this month show that Exeter City Council could at last be facing up to the real challenges confronting the city. First, building more homes After a long – very long – gestation period in the shadows, the Council’s proposal to set up a housing development company has burst into the sunlight.  Put … More Put out some flags!

Doing Council business differently: Part 2 – Leadership

Not long ago, an Exeter city councillor on the Executive said to me that he might be called old-fashioned but he saw it as his job, having been elected, to take the right decisions as he saw them.  He was right: he is old-fashioned. Whether councillors like it or not, the paternalistic or top-down model … More Doing Council business differently: Part 2 – Leadership

Doing Council business differently: Part 1 – Engagement

In several previous posts, brought together in Can the Council be a leader?, I have illustrated why I believe Exeter City Council needs to change its political and administrative culture if it is to succeed in harnessing the energy and talents within the city to make it a truly liveable place in the 21st century. … More Doing Council business differently: Part 1 – Engagement