No sanctions please, we’re councillors

Scene:  A committee room in Exeter City Council’s Paris Street offices. Cast:  Councillor Chris Musgrave (Green Party), Councillor Pete Edwards (Labour Leader of the Council), plus other members of the Corporate Services Scrutiny Committee, attendants, and a member of the public. Cllr Musgrave (after having asked several questions stonewalled by the Leader):  What sanctions areContinue reading “No sanctions please, we’re councillors”

What price green space?

Exeter City Council is about to take a decision that will define its soul The modern story of the Clifton Hill green space began in March 2018 when snow damaged the Clifton Hill Sports Centre.  In July 2018 I asked a series of questions in a blog post, questions which have never been satisfactorily answeredContinue reading “What price green space?”

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”

No revolution yet, then

The window of opportunity for kick-starting a renaissance of local government in Exeter came and went yesterday.  The ruling Labour group increased its seats on the city council to 30, out of a total of 39.  The Tories have 8, and the Lib Dems 1. There are three points worth making on this. First, theContinue reading “No revolution yet, then”

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”

The Old Politics no longer serves us well

Local authorities should be the cornerstone of local democracy, but they are failing to respond to a changing society.  This post, and those immediately following, aim to show at least some of the reasons for this failure and to illustrate the scale of change needed in local governance without which initiatives from others in theContinue reading “The Old Politics no longer serves us well”