#ExeterBoard discusses cycling in the city

In the absence of Councillor Andrew Leadbetter, I chaired last night’s meeting of Exeter Board.

The focus of the meeting was Cycling in the City and it was gratifying to see a full public gallery for the meeting .

exeter-board

Starting off the discussion was a preamble and question from Graham Heysett.

Preamble: I note from the DCC Cabinet meeting of 8th June 2016 that Councillors resolved that Officers be authorised to continue working on the development of the Exeter Cycle Network, giving priority to Routes E3 (between Redhayes Bridge and the City Centre)and E4 (between Redhayes Bridge and the University of Exeter Streatham Campus). I also note from items 12 and 5 of the report of the Head of Planning, Transportation and Environment to Cabinet (PTE/16/27) that ‘Progression of scheme development throughout financial year 2016/17 is required to ensure construction plans are available when funding becomes available for delivery. The final E3

and E4 cycle routes will be presented to Cabinet prior to construction.’ and ‘A Growth Deal 3 Expression of Interest has been submitted to the LEP for £3.4M of funding for implementation of the cycle routes, available over the period 2017/18 to 2019/20. £1.65M S106 developer contributions have been secured for walking and cycling improvements and are expected to provide the required match funding.’

Question: Can we be confident that development is taking place for the whole length of the routes E3 and E4, that Progression of scheme development through financial year 2016/17 was on track to ensure construction plans are available when funding becomes available, and that Growth Deal 3 funding available for the period 2017/18 to 2019/20 has been secured from the LEP for implementation of the cycle routes?

The response to the question  was given as part of the wider discussion on cycling provision as set out below.

Speaking on the above theme were: Jamie Hulland : Transportation, Planning and Road Safety Manager, Devon County Council

Mike Walton : Exeter Cycling Campaign

Jemma Hodgins : Exeter City Futures

Devon County Council Cycling Strategy : Jamie Hulland

Jamie Hulland outlined the County Council’s current and future proposals for cycling in the City and its ambitions for creating a primary and secondary network of high quality routes and shared cycle/pedestrian paths, subject to available funds. Although not having benefited from Government funding through the Cycling Ambitions Cities Programme such as Oxford and Cambridge, nor through the recent National Parks “Granite and Gears” programme for rural strategic cycle routes serving Dartmoor, Exeter compared well in national terms in its commitment to improved cycle provision across the City.

Funding for future initiatives would come from Growth Deal 3 of £3.4 million topped up to £5.4 million from other County Council funding streams for the period to 2019/20 and the Department of Transport’s Access Fund provision of £1.5 million funding over the next three years towards Devon’s Walking and Cycling Strategy to Prosperity scheme which would also be backed by £60,000 from the County Council. The latter focused on key areas of housing and employment growth in Exeter to change behaviour and promote more creative travel to work and places of education. The project would also support a further extension to the electric bike hire scheme from on-street docking stations in Exeter and deliver annual walking and cycling challenges.

He thanked the Exeter Cycling Campaign for their commitment to and ideas for the network and, referring to the question of Graham Heysett in respect of routes E3 and E4, advised that part of the rationale for the latter was to improve access to the City for cyclists from the growth areas of Newcourt and Monkerton from the Redhayes Bridge/M5 area. Much of the £100,000 commitment in this financial year would focus on the eastern part of the route with subsequent work to occur along Prince Charles Road and Union Road. The E3 route was not as high a priority and would focus on improving linkages from Heavitree and Whipton Barton into the City Centre. He also reported that, both the County Council and City Council, were signatories to the Exeter Cycling Charter.

He responded as follows to Members’ queries:-

  • other than the London Design Guide, there were no official sanctioned Department of Transport planning guidance and use was therefore made of best practise. The City Council’c Principal Project Manager (Infrastructure Delivery) advised that the City Council’s Sustainable Transport Supplementary Planning Guidance assisted the planning process;
  • although demand on CIL contributions was oversubscribed, significant sums were being identified for cycle schemes;
  • shared cycle/pedestrian paths could offer low cost solutions in areas such as Whipton and Heavitree, for example linking Hanover Road and Ladysmith Road through Higher Cemetery could be a possible scheme; and
  • 80%/90% of the road network was gritted but logistics and funding considerations prevented extending this to cycle paths.

Responding to Members’ queries, Joel Smith, the University of Exeter’s Sustainable Travel Co-ordinator, confirmed that the University worked closely with the County and City Councils to improve cycling facilities and, through its Sustainable Transport Plan, was looking at a range of measures to improve cycling provision, both into and on the University campus, with a current estimate of 14% of students and 14% of staff cycling to the campus. Measures being taken included:-

  • work place support scheme;
  • adult confidence cycling sessions;
  • participation in Ride to Work week;
  • keen to extend the CoBike/Electric bike usage across the City and looking at use of land at St David’s Station and on the St Luke’s campus for this purpose as well as introducing electric bikes on the main campus;
  • external consultants to report back on cycle parking provision on the Streatham Campus to feed into the University’s Campus Environment Management Group with Streatham Road seen as a potential area for cycle parking as part of a two tier plan for staff and students to park along this road and access the main site by foot; and
  • student-led project on understanding car use by students.

He confirmed that the University was seeking to action a number of recommendations arising from the presentation of its Sustainable Transport Plan 2016-20 at the November meeting of the County Council’s Exeter Highways and Traffic Orders Committee and undertook to pursue the request for the wider circulation of the above mentioned reports. Referring to a Member’s suggestion that the University should commit to requiring all students to sign up to a no car policy, he acknowledged that student use of cars in the City was a significant issue and referred to a forthcoming meeting on 3 February with local Members on student issues. He noted the comments of a Member in respect of the recent planning applications for purpose built student accommodation in the City, the significant number of cycle parking provision associated with some of these and the apparent lack of communication between the individual developers and the University on the availability of parking spaces on campus and possible developer contribution to such provision.

Jamie Hulland responded further to issues raised:-

  • the 2021 census would further update car usage in Exeter, the current estimate being that some 50% of those working in the City came from outside Exeter but that the City was performing well in comparison with some cities, benefitting in particular from a comprehensive rail network;
  • reducing bus lanes, as was being trialled in Liverpool, to help increase cycle paths, was a radical but unsuitable solution with significant numbers using buses and with the Exeter and District Bus Users Group being a strong pressure group/advocate;
  • responding to the suggestion of advance public alerts to increases in pollution levels, he advised that air quality had improved with better vehicle technology and certain traffic management measures; and
  • opportunities to investigate the potential for additional cycle parking provision on ad hoc, vacant plots of land, both in the City Centre and in residential areas, should be pursued.

Graham Hysett, as a Sustrans Board Member and cycling instructor, responded to the issues raised. He stated that Exeter had been the First Cycle Demonstration City and that it was important to build on the impetus this status had brought, not to slip behind other Cities and to be ambitious with future plans, taking Danish and Dutch Cities as exemplars of imaginative solutions. He suggested that further road improvements such as the Bridge Road scheme, whilst initially reducing travel time, would ultimately witness similar, if not increased, congestion. This scheme, whilst seeking to improve links between the north and south west of the City would feel the impact of the new housing developments to be brought forward for the latter area. He briefly spoke on the relationship between cyclists and pedestrians, particularly on shared routes and the associated psychology of cyclists in the use of these routes.

Members made reference to the wider, holistic approach to infrastructure provision and the specific cycling issues raised, noting that many road schemes had already come forward through CIL contributions and that, whilst much could be done through implementing low cost schemes, such as cycle parking in the City Centre, the Quay area and residential areas, access to other funding streams was important. In this context, reference was made to the need to put further pressure on the LEP to ensure that Exeter, as the lead area in economic growth, should benefit further from investment. Members therefore supported the proposal that the Board urge the LEP to give full recognition to Exeter’s role in the regional economy for it to receive the appropriate funding support for transport and other infrastructure improvements.

Exeter Cycling Campaign : Mike Walton

Mike Walton, spoke at the invitation of the Board on behalf of the Exeter Cycling

Campaign, presenting its vison for a better city. He stated that Exeter faced significant challenges of congestion, pollution, unhealthy lifestyles and the degradation of the public realm. Other cities were finding solutions to these challenges by making cycling the safe and natural choice for people of all ages, for everyday journeys.

Cycling was good for business increasing employee health and wellbeing and reducing absenteeism. The city’s increasing congestion stifled business and made it a less attractive place to invest in. Businesses across the city recognised the important role cycling had to play and had pledged support through the Exeter Cycling Charter.

There was a need for real ambition to deliver the modal shift away from car-driving.

He enlarged on the four areas of challenge:-

  • Pollution – there were 42 deaths per year in Exeter from pollution with other Cities taking this issue seriously by introducing low emission zones and investing in cycling infrastructure and building safe cycle routes as the only way of enabling a significant ‘modal shift’ away from the car to the bicycle to reduce pollution;
  • Congestion – Exeter is congested and planned population growth over the next decade would see the daily commute volume increase by 40%. Rather than dedicating most road space to the most inefficient way of transporting people – the private motor vehicle – some of that space must be used to prioritise the flow of modes of transport that are more efficient, that is, clear corridors for public transport and the creation of dense cycle networks;
  • Unhealthy lifestyles – Cities are “obesogenic” making it difficult for people, especially children to lead healthy lives. Active living should be promoted through encouraging walking and cycling; and
  • Degradation of the public realm – Quality open space and City Centres that are people focused will attract more tourist, residents and businesses.

Specific proposals for increasing cycling included:-

(a)           segregated cycling infrastructure on busy roads;

(b)           separate people walking from people cycling;

(c)           reduce traffic volumes in residential areas; and

(d)           prioritise people who walk and cycle in residential areas and when crossing side roads.

He concluded his presentation with a number of recommendations for the Board seeking vision and leadership and the empowerment of Council officers to respond to the Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP). He also sought a commitment from both the County and City Councils to work on a Transport Plan for the Greater Exeter Area which focussed on moving people not cars. He asked that all submissions from the County Council to the HotSW LEP included urban.

Members were in support of the suggestions, recognising that a co-ordinated, cross Council approach was necessary because of the differing responsibilities of the County and City Councils in service delivery and that engagement at County Council Cabinet level would be important to help ensure the requisite level of resource commitment. There was also a suggestion that a start could be made by identifying two or three pilot areas involving local communities to achieve “quick wins”. The Transportation, Planning and Road Safety Manager advised that any such ideas would need to have regard to existing commitments and the identification of funding.

Similarly, the development of a Transport Plan for the Greater Exeter area would be progressed through the Greater Exeter Strategic Partnership involving the County, the City and Teignbridge, Mid Devon and East Devon Councils.

Exeter City Futures

Jemma Hodgins stated that the aims of the cycling campaign accorded with those of Exeter City Futures which was similarly concerned that an increasing population and an expanding travel to work region were attracting more commuters from across Devon and putting a significant strain on Exeter’s roads, energy resources and wellbeing of the population. Its ambitious goal was to make the City congestion free and energy independent by 2025. She advised that City Futures welcomed ideas from Board Members on ways of changing travel behaviour patterns.

The meeting RESOLVED that:-

(1)         the Board support the following recommendations put forward by the Exeter Cycling Campaign;

(a)           commit to the vision and work to deliver it;

(b)           empower Council officers;

(c)           audit the delivery of existing Council cycling strategies and task Council officers to prepare to respond to the imminent Local Cycling and Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) guidance;

(d)           develop a Greater Exeter Transport Plan which prioritizes movement of people; and

(e)           include urban Exeter cycle network proposals in all submissions to the Heart of the South West LEP; and

(2)         the Board urge the LEP to give full recognition to Exeter’s role in the regional economy for it to receive the appropriate funding support for transport and other infrastructure improvements.

TWEET | Chris Dent

Futher reading:

Exeter Cycling Campaign: Building a better city [Exeter Board, 02 February 2017]

Exeter Cycling Campaign: Slides presented to Exeter Board, 2 February 2017

My Storify feed on the issue: 02/02/17 |#ExeterBoard discusses cycling in Exeter

 

 

Advertisements

Exeter Cycling Campaign | Building a better city

Exeter Cycling Campaign logo

Building a better city

Executive Summary

Exeter is a great and successful city, but it also faces significant challenges of congestion, pollution, unhealthy lifestyles and the degradation of the public realm.

Other cities are finding solutions to these challenges by making cycling the safe, natural choice for people of all ages, for everyday journeys (i.e. not leisure routes but routes that support everyday journeys to the school, shops, work).

Exeter has limited space available on its road network and with an increasing population it is vital that this space is used as efficiently as possible, with the focus being on moving people.

27% of Exeter households do not have access to a private car, and yet our public roads continue to prioritise motorised transport, to the exclusion of people who cannot drive (children, older people, people with mobility challenges).

Cycling is a good investment: the benefit to cost ratio for investment in cycling far exceeds that for roads and rail.

Cycling is good for business: it increases employee health and well being and reduces absenteeism. People who cycle spend more per annum in retail businesses. The city’s increasing congestion stifles business and makes it a less attractive place to invest in. Businesses across the city recognise the important role cycling has to play and have pledged support through the Exeter Cycling Charter.

The city and county’s cycling strategies are good. However, there is a lack of real ambition to deliver the modal shift away from car-driving that our city needs.

There are realistic actions that our Councils can be taking now to enable cycling.

What is this report about

This paper lays out a vision for a better city.

It demonstrates how the city’s significant challenges of pollution, congestion and unhealthy lifestyles can be tackled by enabling safe cycling to become the normal means of transport for people of all ages and abilities.

This paper is not asking for favours for ‘cyclists’. It is about health, equality and building a better city for all of Exeter’s citizens and businesses.

This paper asks Exeter Board members to be the leaders who embrace this vision and work towards its delivery.

This report proposes realistic first steps towards achieving this vision.

Recommendations

1. Commit to this vision of a better, more effective, people-friendly city, with cycling at the heart of our response to the challenges we face.

2. Work to plan and then deliver a dense network of safe cycle routes across the city.

3. Insist that Council Officers adopt best practice in the design of these cycle routes and to have ambition in proposing solutions for delivering a significant modal shift to cycling.

4. Audit the delivery of existing Council cycling strategies and task Council Officers to prepare to respond to the of the imminent Local Cycling & Walking Infrastructure Plan (LCWIP) guidance.

5. Commit to working together as both the County and City on a Transport Plan for the Greater Exeter Area which considers movement of people (not cars).

6. Formally support DCC in ensuring that all submissions from DCC to the HotSW LEP include urban cycle network proposals for Exeter.

The challenges the city faces and how to address them

Exeter is lovely city. It’s success and population growth mean however that we face significant challenges. Challenges

that mean that our current approach to health, the movement of people and use of our public realm need to change.

1. Pollution

We know that there are 42 deaths a year from pollution in the city of Exeter [01] and yet there appear no strategic shifts in policy to properly address this. Current measures laid out in the ‘2015 Air Quality Annual Status Report [02] ’will not make a material impact on the city’s air pollution. Enabling significant numbers of people to walk and cycle will.

Other cities are beginning to take seriously the pollution and degradation caused by motorised transport:

● Oslo is seeking to ban cars from the city centre by 2019 [03]

● Paris, Mexico City, Madrid and Athens are planning to ban diesel cars from 2025 [04]

● Low emission zones are in place in Oxford, Nottingham, London, Norwich and Brighton

● English cities like Leicester, Cambridge, Oxford, Bristol, Brighton [05], Nottingham [06], Portsmouth [07] and Newcastle [08] recognise the imperative to invest in safe cycling infrastructure to reduce pollution & congestion and get more citizens choosing to cycle for everyday journeys.

● Building a dense network of safe cycle routes has been shown to be the only way of enabling a significant ‘modal shift’ away from the car to the bicycle and reduce air pollution in the city. ‘Training’ and‘encouragement’ to people to cycle more does not materially increase the numbers who do so.

2. Congestion

Exeter is already a city that suffers from congestion. The daily commute involves 88,000 commuters every morning [09].

With the planned population growth over the next decade this daily commute volume is set to increase by 40%. There are currently no credible plans to avoid further gridlock as the Exeter travel to work volume increases?

Urban road space is limited and therefore needs careful management and prioritisation to enable modes of transport that maximise people-carrying capacity. Rather than dedicating most road space to the most inefficient way of transporting people – the private motor vehicle – some of that space must be used to prioritise the flow of modes of transport that are more efficient. This means clear corridors for public transport and the creation of dense cycle networks that allow anyone to cycle from A to B on safe, convenient and connected paths.

screen-shot-2017-02-02-at-12-55-53
Each lane of a typical urban road can accommodate 2,000 cars per hour, or 14,000 cycles

Other cities are recognising this:

screen-shot-2017-02-02-at-12-58-30

A significant shift of travel mode from single-occupancy cars to cycling will ease congestion [10]. Cycling is seven times more efficient at moving people within a city than cars [11].

3. Unhealthy lifestyles

One in six deaths in the UK are directly attributable to inactive lifestyles12. We have built our cities to be ‘obesogenic’, making it difficult for people, especially our children, to lead active lives. This places a growing and unsustainable cost on our NHS and social services. We need to be building our city in a way that encourages active living to be part of our daily routines. This needs to include the location of housing developments, how we link new housing to the rest of the city, how we encourage walking and cycling for journeys and how we discourage single-occupancy car use.

screen-shot-2017-02-02-at-13-00-45

4. The degradation of the public realm

The city of Exeter is lovely, and attracts tourists to visit, business to relocate and Devonians to shop. However, we risk the city losing its attractiveness as it prioritises people driving over people walking and cycling and having quality public space. Other cities are recognising that building city centres that are people -focused and prioritise walking and cycling are more attractive for tourists, residents and businesses [13].

What should be done?

The capital funding challenges that the city and county face are acknowledged. However, there are many ways in whichwe can still move forward on building a better city.

This is not a zero sum game. Enabling people to cycle benefits all citizens and should not be framed as anti-motoring.

The Exeter Cycling Campaign asks members of the Exeter Board to:

1. Commit to being the leaders who share this vision of a better city, with cycling at the heart of our response to the pollution, congestion and unhealthy lifestyle challenges we face.

2. Commit to working for the delivery of a dense network of safe cycle routes across the city so that cycling becomes the natural choice for everyday journeys to work, school, shops etc.

3. Insist that Council Officers adopt best practice in the design of these routes, for example:

a. Segregated cycling infrastructure on busy roads

b. Separate people walking from people cycling

c. Reduce traffic volumes in residential areas

d. Prioritise people who walk and cycle in residential areas and when crossing side roads

(n.b. recent road implementations fall far short of best practice)

4. Audit the delivery against existing Council strategies (particularly the ‘Cycling and Multi-use Trail Network Strategy’, which commits to achieving 12% of commuter journeys by bicycle by 2021).

5. Encourage Council Officers to have ambition in proposing how the Council strategies and this vision can be delivered.

a. There are concerns that the June’16 DCC Cabinet decision to design the E4 and E3 cycle routes from “Redhayes Bridge to the University/city centre” are not being fully followed through within the Transport department.

6. Commit to working together as both the County and City on a Transport Plan for the Greater Exeter Area which focuses on moving people rather than moving cars.

7. Task Council Officers to prepare for the release of the Local Cycling & Walking Investment Plan (LCWIP)guidance soon to be released from central government.

8. Insist that all submissions from DCC to the HotSW LEP include urban cycle network proposals.

Who benefits from delivering a safe cycling network across the city?

The benefits from enabling cycling by building a dense network of connected, convenient and safe routes are felt by all citizens:

● Children – are more able to walk or cycle to school safely. They become physically active, need less parental taxiing to/from school and school parking is reduced.

● The city is made accessible to people who use mobility aids to travel.

● Businesses have healthier, more productive employees, with lower absenteeism [14].

● Retail business benefit from higher sales [15]

● People who drive cars benefit from having fewer cars on the roads

● Public health costs from inactive lifestyles and pollution are reduced

● All citizens – because the public realm is enhanced by having fewer cars and people interact at a human level when they walk or cycle [16].

Appendix: Why is this relevant to the Exeter Board?

There are five reasons why this is of relevance to the Exeter Board.

The Board’s stated priorities are inequality and health.

1. This is a health issue:

Physical inactivity directly contributes to one in six deaths in the UK  [17] and 10% of the NHS budget is spent on treating

screen-shot-2017-02-02-at-13-10-24

2. This is an inequality issue:

screen-shot-2017-02-02-at-13-13-40

3. This is an economic issue:

Exeter’s businesses are pledging their support for better provision of safe cycling in the city. Within a eight weeks of launching, the Exeter Cycling Charter received pledges of support from over 150 large and small businesses, including all the city’s major employers:

● South West Water

● The Met Office

● RD&E

● Devon and Cornwall Constabulary

● Environment Agency

● Devon Partnership NHS Trust

● Ashfords LLP

● Ladysmith Schools Federation

● Isca Academy

● Stoke Hill Junior School

● Devon County Council

● Exeter City Council

● Natural England

● Waitrose

● John Lewis

● Wilkinson Grant & Co

● HMP Exeter

These organisations recognise that positive enabling of active travel is good for the well being of staff, which makes them more productive and reduces absenteeism. The many retail businesses who have signed the Charter recognise that people who cycle are better for retail sales [18].

A city that is truly cycle-friendly for everyday journeys is attractive to businesses considering investing in or moving to it.

4. This is an issue the citizens of Exeter support:

This is something that residents of Exeter are concerned about. The results from Exeter City Futures’ polling of Exeter citizens demonstrates that traffic and congestion are overwhelmingly the most significant issue. In the recent Exeter City Futures ‘Community Challenge’ enabling more people to cycle was voted the most pressing challenge to resolve. In the eight months of the Exeter Cycling Campaign’s existence 1200+ supporters and followers have aligned themselves with the Campaign.

5. Exeter risks falling behind other cities:

Other cities are beginning to position themselves as ‘cycling cities’, potentially overtaking Exeter.

For example, Portsmouth is aiming to “become the pre-eminent cycling city of the UK. A city fit for the future: a healthy, safe, sustainable, prosperous city that people want to live in, to work in and to visit [19].”

Notes:
01 Place Scrutiny Committee, 8Sep16 Report from Environmental Health and Licensing Manager

02 2015 Air Quality Annual Status Report

03 https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/oct/19/oslo-moves-to-ban-cars-from-city-centre-within-four-years

04 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-38170794

05 ‘THE ROLE OF WALKING AND CYCLING IN REDUCING CONGESTION’ http://h2020 flow.eu/uploads/tx_news/FLOW_REPORT_-_Portfolio_of_Measures_v_06_web.pdf

06 http://transport.nottinghamcity.gov.uk/Projects/Cycle-city-ambition-project.aspx

07 Portsmouth’s cycling strategy: http://acitytoshare.org/pdf/a-city-to-share.pdf

08 http://www.bikebiz.com/news/read/newcastle-builds-1-7m-protected-cycleway-in-city-centre/020410

09 Trevor Priest analysis Jul’16 from 2011 census data

10 ‘THE ROLE OF WALKING AND CYCLING IN REDUCING CONGESTION’ http://h2020-flow.eu/uploads/tx_news/FLOW_REPORT_-_Portfolio_of_Measures_v_06_web.pdf

11 Botma H & Papendrecht H. Traffic operation of bicycle traffic. TU-Delft, 1991. http://pubsindex.trb.org/view.aspx?id=365588

12 “Working Together to Promote Active Travel: A briefing for local authorities” Public Health England May’16

13 http://denmark.dk/en/green-living/bicycle-culture/the-cities-of-the-future-are-people-friendly-cities

14 “‘The Value of Cycling’”, DfT sponsored research from University of Birmingham & Phil Jones Associated. Mar’16

15 Cycling UK (formerly CTC) – business benefits of cycling briefing

16 http://denmark.dk/en/green-living/bicycle-culture/the-cities-of-the-future-are-people-friendly-cities

17 “Working Together to Promote Active Travel: A briefing for local authorities” Public Health England May’16

18 “‘The Value of Cycling’”, DfT sponsored research from University of Birmingham & Phil Jones Associated. Mar’16: “Cycle parking allows 5 times more retail spend than the same space for car parking. Furthermore, a compact town optimised for walking and cycling typically delivers a ‘retail density’ (spend per square metre) 2.5 times higher than typical urban centres

19 Portsmouth’s cycling strategy: http://acitytoshare.org/pdf/a-city-to-share.pdf

Hansard | European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill

hansard-banner

European Union (Notification of Withdrawal) Bill

31 January 2017
Volume 620

Relevant document: The First Report from the Committee on Exiting the European Union, The process for exiting the European Union and the Government’s negotiating objectives, HC 815.]

Second Reading

screen-shot-2017-02-08-at-15-20-07

8.41 pm
Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab): On 23 June, the British public voted to leave the European Union. Leaving the single market and the customs union was not on the ballot paper, and nor was the even worse option of falling back on World Trade Organisation rules, yet that is what this Conservative Government are now pursuing with no mandate.

Yesterday, the Centre for Cities published a report showing that Exeter, which voted remain, is the most dependent community in Britain on exports to the rest of the European Union. We send 70% of what we export to other EU countries and just 7% to the United States. My neighbouring city of Plymouth, which voted leave, is second on that list, sending 68% of its exports to the European Union. The south-west of England as a whole is the most dependent region in the United Kingdom on exports to the rest of the EU.

Full and unfettered access to the single market is crucial to thousands of businesses and the people whom they employ in my constituency and the south-west of England. Falling back on WTO rules would mean tariffs of up to 51% on the goods that we currently export, as well as tariffs on imports, which would put up prices in the shops even higher for the hard-pressed consumer.

Let us be clear that there is no going back once Article 50 is triggered. Unless there is a successful challenge to the current interpretation, this is a one-way street out of the EU to the hardest of hard Brexits.

Andrew Selous (South West Bedfordshire) (Con):  I have the greatest respect for the right hon. Gentleman, who is making his argument powerfully, but does he not believe that the time for such arguments was during the referendum campaign and that now we should focus on a positive future using our entrepreneurial flair, our trading skills and our inventiveness to make a success of what lies before us?

Mr Bradshaw: Yes, that was the time for arguing the principle. This is the time for arguing about the type of Brexit that we believe is in the best interests of our country. I am afraid that some of my colleagues are clinging to the straw of the vote that the Government have promised on any deal at the end of the two-year negotiation process, yet the Government have made it absolutely clear that the only choice will be between their hard Brexit and WTO rules. This could be our only chance to prevent the hardest of Brexits or to soften its blow, and I cannot and will not vote to destroy jobs and prosperity in my constituency.

I fully accept that it is easier for me to vote against article 50 because my constituency voted remain. I have been overwhelmed by the support for my position that I have received from my constituents and Labour party members, but I completely understand that some colleagues, particularly those in areas that voted heavily to leave, will find it more difficult to do this. In the end, however, as the right hon. and learned Member for Rushcliffe (Mr Clarke) so ably reminded us, we are elected representatives who are called upon to use our own judgment about what is in the best interests of our constituencies and the country. Do we really believe that cutting ourselves off from our closest friends and main trading partners will hurt or help our constituents and our country? Do we honestly think it is in our national interests to hitch ourselves instead to this American President? We will all be judged in the future on how we voted on this Bill.

Finally, let me say that I am disappointed and saddened by the decision of my party’s leadership to try to force Labour MPs to support this Tory Bill. Even more, I regret that we are being whipped to vote to curtail our detailed debate to just three days—and this on the biggest issue of our lifetimes, which will have repercussions for generations to come. Scores of amendments to this Bill have been tabled, yet there is no chance of most of them being debated or voted upon. The situation is completely unacceptable and this is a dereliction of our duty as parliamentarians and as an Opposition.

Mr Winnick rose

Mr Bradshaw: If my hon. Friend does not mind, I will finish now.

I will therefore vote against the Government’s programme motion to curtail debate. For the first time in nearly 20 years in this place, I will be voting against my party’s three-line whip on a Bill. In doing so, I am reflecting what I believe to be the majority view of those who elected me, and the view of millions of others in Britain who oppose this Government’s choice to pursue the worst and most destructive form of Brexit, and all the negative consequences that that will bring.

 

E&E | Exeter council to cut back tree after ‘nightmare neighbour’ complaints over rough sleepers

E&E

 

31 January 2017

Exeter council to cut back tree after ‘nightmare neighbour’ complaints over rough sleepers

by Alex Richards

A group of residents have spoken of their ‘nightmare’ ordeal involving a group of rough sleepers under a nearby tree – which is set to be cut back by Exeter council.

Over the past few years, individuals have been congregating and sleeping rough underneath a giant conifer in the once-tranquil graveyard of St Thomas Church, Cowick Street.

Now Exeter City Council will chop lower branches off the towering tree, in an effort to expose them to police patrols on Cowick Street.

Anguished neighbours claim to have witnessed evidence of prostitution, drug use and dealing at the shrouded spot – just metres from many of their windows.

The group has also allegedly intimidated residents, by shining torches at their windows and approaching family members.

All residents involved in this story have chosen to remain anonymous, as they are worried about repercussions from those who have been known to use the spot.

One resident, from Newcastle, lives nearby with his partner and their baby. They say the problems began around two or three days after they moved in.

He has since been in regular contact with the Devon & Cornwall Police regarding the threatening and shocking behaviour from the group under the tree.

And he says it is clear an individual was, at one point, ‘selling their body’ under the tree.

One night, at around 3am, they woke to a woman screaming and shouting: “Where is my £100, I just gave you sex.”

The resident said: “I cannot believe the homelessness and drugs problem in Exeter. In Newcastle the problem does not appear half as bad – it’s so concentrated here.

“We’ll see how it goes but we might have to move in June if it isn’t sorted. Especially with the little one around.”

He added: “Police are pretty limited in what they can do.”

Another nearby resident, a woman who lives on her own, moved into the area in 2015. She says being alone makes her feel more vulnerable.

She said: “It became so intrusive, there is evidence of drug abuse and loud foul language. It went on all night from about 10.30pm.

“One night it went on until 1pm the following day.

“It was distressing and intimidating. Our neighbours moved soon after the trouble began, and it definitely played a part in their decision to leave.

“Nobody should have to deal with it.”

“It is a graveyard, which in itself should be treated with respect.”

She welcomes the council’s decision to cut down branches from the lower half of the tree.

“It will become less of a canopy and police will be able to see them under the tree when going past.”

A City Council spokesman said: “Following complaints of anti-social behaviour, the police have asked us to trim the lower parts of the tree so that any ASB is visible and not concealed.

“This work is scheduled to be carried out soon.”

On his Facebook page St Thomas PCSO, PoliceCommunity Support Officer Will Malcolm added: “We’ve had reports over a month or two about people sleeping under this tree and up to no good.

“Local residents are worried, so got in touch with ECC to see if we can prune the conifer back. All agreed and in their diary to be done.

Further reading:
Read the article on the E&E website
Read the article on the E&E Facebook page

 

#ThirdTimeLucky – Living wall for First & Last in #EXEStThomas

I’ve learned to relish any victory, however small. And it seems there is a small success in the matter of a living green wall on the south gable of the First & Last redevelopment.

Back in 2014, a planning application was lodged with Exeter City Council for a change of use from existing public house and one first floor dwelling in to three dwellings plus an additional new build dwelling and associated ancillary facilities [14/4821/03].

I had reservations at the time as the First & Last is at a busy junction where 4 major roads converge – Cowick Street, Cowick Lane, Dunsford Road and Buddle Lane. There is often traffic congestion and chaos at the junction – and not only at morning and evening rush hours.

The bus stop is in the wrong place, meaning the yellow box junction is ineffective, and the phasing of the traffic lights needs sorting out.

As part of the consultation on the planning application, I made my views known. Could the development be car-free? Could  Devon County Council [as the Local Highway Authority] request some section 106 monies from the developer to look at sorting out the traffic problems? The answer to both questions was NO.

But there was something interesting and exciting contained within the submitted design statement. As part of the landscaping plans, James Barnfield [of Hilton Barnfield Architects] was suggesting a living green wall for the south gabel of the new building.

first-last-landscaping-in-design-statement-hilton-barnfield-architects
First & Last | Landscaping outline in Design Statement [Hilton Barnfield Architects]
The application was approved under delegated powers on 25 February 2015.

As is usual certain planning conditions were attached to the approval.

Condition 2 of the original planning decision only permitted development in strict accordance with the submitted details received by the Local Planning Authority on 16 December2014 (dwg. no’s 0084_FIR_PL_1.9; 2.0 (rev B); 2.1; 2.2; 3.0; 3.1; 3.2; 4.0; 4.1), as modified by other conditions of this consent.

And Condition 3 stated ”Notwithstanding condition 2, details of all external materials to be used in the proposed new dwelling shall be submitted to the Local Planning Authority and the development shall not be started before their approval is obtained in writing and the materials used in the construction of the development shall correspond with the approved details in all respects.”

first-last-dwg0084_fir_pl_3-2
First & Last | DWG0084_FIR_PL_3.2 [Hilton Barnfield Architects]
So far, so good.

But often in planing, the original applicant sells the site onto a new developer to actually deliver the plans. And this is the case here – with new architects appointed for the scheme.

But rather than a living vertical garden, green felt pockets appeared in August 2016:

First & Last | Felt pockets [close-up] First & Last | Felt pockets

Then in September 2016, the felt pockets were removed and replace with faux plastic greenery:

First & Last | Plastic flowers [close-up] First & Last | Plastic flowers

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As I result, I asked ECC Panning Officers to investigate enforcement action to get the new developers to comply with the original decision notice.

That led the new developers to submit a new planning application [16/1515/03], asking for a retrospective variation of condition 2 of Planning Application 14/4821/03 for revised plans showing removal of planted gable wall and replace with rendered finish, to match render used on refurbished building.

The application was considered at a Delegation Briefing held on 10 January 2017.

First & Last | Officers Report 16/1515/03
First & Last | Officers Report 16/1515/03

The Project Manager informed that plastic flowers had been planted instead of real plants, which doesn’t comply with the revised planning approval. An objection had been received stating the need for real plants for ecological benefits.

A Member provided a brief purchase history of the property. The construction of the property would be the same if it was planted as a ‘living wall’. A condition needs to be in place to replace with real plants with replanting as needed.

The members decided to refuse the Variation of Condition 2 and supported the change to real plants to create a green living wall.

The decision notice was issued on 12 January 2017.

First & Last | Decision notice 16/1515/03
First & Last | Decision Notice 16/1515/03

So in the near future, we can expect to see real living greenery forming a vertical garden on the south gable on the new building on the old First and Last development.

First & Last | Visualisation of living vertical garden [Hilton Barnfield Architects]
First & Last | Visualisation of living vertical garden [Hilton Barnfield Architects]
Further reading:
My Storify feed on the issue: 07/10/16 | Sedum Garden on First & Last development

My Storify feed on the issue: 12/12/16 | First & Last in #EXEStThomas

Major funding for RAMM’s World Cultures galleries

ramm-logo

Media Release | For immediate release

Major funding for RAMM’s World Cultures galleries

ramm

Exeter’s Royal Albert Memorial Museum (RAMM) will redisplay the World Cultures gallery with a new £190,000 grant from DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund. The award was one of the £4 million grants announced by Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital and Culture, today.

Councillor Paul Bull, Exeter City Lead Councillor for Communities and Culture, said “Exeter is proud to have one of the country’s best World Cultures collections. We are ambitious in our desire to make Exeter’s collections widely accessible, informative and enjoyable for visitors. We are grateful to the DCMS Wolfson fund for helping us share this national asset.”

RAMM’s World Cultures galleries were opened in 1999 after the ethnographic collection was awarded Designation status in recognition of the range and quality of objects from Africa, the Americas, Asia, the Middle East and the islands of the Pacific Ocean.

The grant will upgrade the galleries to match the 2007 to 2011 refurbishment that won RAMM the Museum of the Year Award in 2012. With the introduction of new showcases, 30% more of the collection will be on show, including Asian costume, African carving and beadwork, and star objects in changing displays at the entrance. Increasing interactivity in the galleries will help engage families and young people with the central themes of diversity, society, faith, environment and identity. New interpretative material will increase engagement and better ventilation and lighting will improve access and enjoyment.

The newly re-furbished galleries will be ready in 2018, the 150th anniversary of the museum’s public opening and 20th anniversary of the World Cultures collection being designated a collection of national importance.

Nationally 39 museums and galleries across England will benefit from grants totalling £4 million. Museums in the Southwest are well represented with eight museum securing £840,000 funding. These include Royal Cornwall Museum Truro, Russell Cotes Art Gallery & Museum in Bournemouth, SS Great Britain in Bristol and Tate St Ives.

Matt Hancock, Minister for Digital and Culture, said: “Our museums and galleries are among the best in the world and we should be rightly proud of these institutions.

“We want people to be able to enjoy world-leading culture wherever they live and whatever their background. These grants will make an important contribution toward increasing access to their wonderful collections and improving the visitor experience at museums right across the country.

“I applaud the Wolfson Foundation’s generosity in once again matching the Government’s investment pound for pound in this important work.”

Paul Ramsbottom, CEO of the Wolfson Foundation, said: “This is a wonderful example of how a charity and government can work fruitfully together in partnership and we are grateful to government for matching our funding. The awards demonstrate the richness and variety of the country’s museum collections. From Egyptian mummies in Leicester to a Roman fort on Tyneside, this is a gloriously diverse set of projects – but all demonstrate excellence and all will improve the visitor experience.

“In announcing these awards I also want to pay tribute to Giles Waterfield. He was a brilliant advisor to the programme from its inception and sparkled at an expert panel meeting in the very week in which he tragically and unexpectedly died. We all owe him a great deal.”

The partnership between DCMS and Wolfson has now committed £44 million and funded 382 projects throughout England since the Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund was created in 2001.

This is the twelfth round of a joint fund which DCMS runs in partnership with the Wolfson Foundation. The fund aims to provide capital funding for museums and galleries across England to deliver projects in one or a number of the following key areas:

  • Renovation and improvement of the display of exhibits in permanent galleries and exhibition spaces;
  • Improvements to public spaces and access to the collection;
  • Physical improvements to access and facilities for disabled visitors;
  • Physical improvements to collection interpretation;
  • Improvements to environmental controls in public access spaces and galleries.

The Wolfson Foundation (www.wolfson.org.uk) is an independent charity that supports and promotes excellence in the fields of science, health, education and the arts and humanities. It has awarded over £800 million (£1.7 billion in real terms) to some 10,000 projects across the UK, all on the basis of expert peer review. Established in 1955, the Wolfson Foundation celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2015.

=ENDS=

For more information contact Rob Mackenzie, Marketing Assistant, on 01392 265317 or robert.mackenzie@exeter.gov.uk or Steve Upsher, Media Relations Officer, on 01392 265103.

The Royal Albert Memorial Museum & Art Gallery (RAMM) is one of Exeter City Council’s flagship services. RAMM is also supported using public funding by Arts Council England.

Stunning displays reveal Devon and Exeter’s rich history and global connections. Exotic animals, birds and insects delight children and a changing programme of exhibitions and events means there is likely to be something different to see on every visit. Free entry gives everyone the freedom to visit many times and to stay any length of time.

Awards and standards include Museum of the Year 2012, the Arts Council Designation Scheme, Devon Visitor Attraction of the Year 2012, Collections Trust Best Practice Award 2013, RIBA South West Special Award for Conservation and Building of the Year 2013, the Accreditation Scheme for Museums in the United Kingdom, Inspiring Learning for All, 2012 Silver Tourist Attraction Award in the South West and Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence 2015.

 

DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund

dcms-logo-officially

 

Media release | For immediate release

£4 million grants announced for English Museums and Galleries under DCMS/Wolfson Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund

Grants will allow institutions across the country to increase access, improve displays and enhance public spaces

Grants totalling £4 million have been awarded to improve displays and facilities at museums and galleries across England, Matt Hancock, Minister of State for Digital and Culture, announced today.

The grants, jointly funded through a partnership between the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and the Wolfson Foundation, will be used for renovation and improvement projects in 39 museums and galleries.

It will allow institutions across the country to increase access, improve displays and enhance public spaces.

 

Matt Hancock, Minister for Digital and Culture, said:

Our museums and galleries are among the best in the world and we should be rightly proud of these institutions.

We want people to be able to enjoy world-leading culture wherever they live and whatever their background. These grants will make an important contribution toward increasing access to their wonderful collections and improving the visitor experience at museums right across the country.

I applaud the Wolfson Foundation’s generosity in once again matching the Government’s investment pound for pound in this important work.

Paul Ramsbottom, CEO of the Wolfson Foundation, said:

This is a wonderful example of how a charity and government can work fruitfully together in partnership and we are grateful to government for matching our funding. The awards demonstrate the richness and variety of the country’s museum collections. From Egyptian mummies in Leicester to a Roman fort on Tyneside, this is a gloriously diverse set of projects – but all demonstrate excellence and all will improve the visitor experience.

In announcing these awards I also want to pay tribute to Giles Waterfield. He was a brilliant advisor to the programme from its inception and sparkled at an expert panel meeting in the very week in which he tragically and unexpectedly died. We all owe him a great deal.

Successful grants include:

The Weald and Downland Museum in Chichester

£224,500 towards an exciting project to reconstruct two significant but currently dismantled historic buildings dedicated to the production of food. The project will develop the museum’s educational programme and the accessibility of its collections.

The Bolton Library and Museum Service

£200,000 towards its First Impressions project which will transform the visitor experience in the 1939 Grade II Listed building by creating a new welcoming and engaging space in which their collections can be viewed.

Leicester Arts and Museum Service

£145,000 to refurbish its Ancient Egyptian Gallery. The refurbished space in the upstairs gallery will house its Ancient Egyptian collection, one of the most significant in the country, and help increase family and school visitors.

National Football Museum in Manchester

£102,156 to extend its main galleries and create two new exhibition spaces. The fund will allow the museum to put the Chris Unger History of Women’s Football Collection and its expanded football toys and games collection on public display for the first time.

The partnership between DCMS and Wolfson has now committed £44 million and funded 382 projects throughout England since the Museums and Galleries Improvement Fund was created in 2001.

Read our blog to hear from other museums that received funding, including the Arbeia Roman Fort, the Royal Cornwall Museum and the Bolton Museum and Library Service

Notes to Editors

Full list of awards (PDF, 71.6KB, 2 pages)

This is the twelfth round of a joint fund which DCMS runs in partnership with the Wolfson Foundation. The fund aims to provide capital funding for museums and galleries across England to deliver projects in one or a number of the following key areas:

  • Renovation and improvement of the display of exhibits in permanent galleries and exhibition spaces;
  • Improvements to public spaces and access to the collection;
  • Physical improvements to access and facilities for disabled visitors;
  • Physical improvements to collection interpretation;
  • Improvements to environmental controls in public access spaces and galleries.

The Wolfson Foundation is an independent charity that supports and promotes excellence in the fields of science, health, education and the arts and humanities. It has awarded over £800 million (£1.7 billion in real terms) to some 10,000 projects across the UK, all on the basis of expert peer review. Established in 1955, the Wolfson Foundation celebrated its 60th anniversary in 2015.

Images of Minister of State for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock and Paul Ramsbottom are available on request.

For more information, contact DCMS press office on 020 7211 6513.