Really, it’s not all bad news

Once the coronavirus is fully under control, there is much to look forward to, and even some things to welcome while we’re still in lockdown; the climate emergency clock is still ticking. Historians reckon the Black Death of the mid-14th century killed at least a third of the population of Britain. So the first bitContinue reading “Really, it’s not all bad news”

How to give Exeter’s climate emergency plans some welly

The coronavirus crisis has led to some reworking of the actions to develop a practical response to the climate emergency in Exeter.  This could be an opportunity to make the plans more robust. Yesterday, 26 March, should have been the climax of public engagement activity in the development of a “roadmap” to a carbon neutralContinue reading “How to give Exeter’s climate emergency plans some welly”

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 modelContinue reading “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.Continue reading “Doing Council business differently: Part 1 – Engagement”

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 toContinue reading “How dense can we be?”

Up for a transport challenge?

The Exeter City Futures challenge fund approach to making the Exeter area congestion-free is not for the faint-hearted. Exeter City Futures (ECF) is a community interest company with a mission to make Exeter and the surrounding area sustainable for the future.  Their first goals are to make the area congestion-free and energy-independent by 2025.  NotContinue reading “Up for a transport challenge?”

Let’s support the thinkers

Change – particularly difficult or contested change – needs a clear purpose if it is to stand any chance of acceptance.  Why should I leave my comfy car at home and stand on a freezing railway station waiting for a delayed and crowded train?  Why should I turn down the central heating in those partsContinue reading “Let’s support the thinkers”

Off the buses

How the Old Politics sowed discord where there should have been harmony In my previous post I set out an explanation for the failure of the “old politics” in Exeter’s local government.  I noted: a combination of working behind closed doors, letting the political party system inhibit new thinking, and failing to show leadership onContinue reading “Off the buses”

A Green future for Exeter?

This blog is about Exeter – what needs to change, what needs to be conserved, and how what’s needed can happen.  Much of what I will write is, I hope, applicable to other similar communities; and indeed to some that are very different. It’s written from a Green perspective, though it does not always followContinue reading “A Green future for Exeter?”