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

High Street Greens

We can do so much better than the current High Street business model, and its current difficulties offer Exeter new opportunities There’s a lot of truth in the observation that Exeter’s city centre is a “clone town”.  Along the length of the High Street and in the shopping centres at Guildhall and Princesshay, the retail … More High Street Greens

Scrutiny can work

Surveys are not always reliable.  Yet if you asked the usual representative sample how they liked to spend time, attending local authority committee meetings is unlikely to score highly. This is understandable.  Public participation is strictly controlled.  In Exeter, members of the public can submit questions (3 days in advance) to be asked at any … More Scrutiny can work

How dense can we be?

[This post is a slightly expanded and referenced version of a five-minute presentation I gave to the Exeter City Futures Spring Connect meeting on 8 March 2017.] There is resistance to high density housing.  Perhaps it’s in the descriptor.  More likely it’s memories of the poorly-designed high-rise blocks built in the 1960s and 1970s to … More How dense can we be?