Study to look at whether Exeter needs new entertainment venue

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Media release | For immediate release

Study to look at whether Exeter needs new entertainment venue

Work to assess whether Exeter needs a new entertainment venue in the city is about to begin.

Exeter City Council is inviting external advisers to carry out a needs assessment for a new 1,000 minimum capacity venue.

The Council currently runs the Exeter Corn Exchange, which has a capacity of just 500. However, leases on the Corn Exchange and surrounding properties are set to end in 2020 and last year the local authority announced that it would be carrying out a review of South Street and the Corn Exchange block.

The City Council is open minded about the future of the area and wants to examine its options.

A New Entertainment Venue Advisory Group has been set up and now the Council is inviting companies to pitch for carrying out a review.

Among the areas that the needs assessment will look at are:
• Reviewing current performance venues in Exeter
• Evaluating current and likely future demand for a new large-scale entertainment venue (minimum 1,000 capacity)
• Identifying the constraints of a new venue, including costs, locations and competitors
• Engaging with funding partners including Arts Council England, about the likelihood of support.

Cllr Rosie Denham, Lead Councillor for Economy, said: “This is just the beginning and it’s really important that we carry out a thorough assessment of what we have, what we need and the costs and other factors associated with providing a new entertainment for Exeter.

Peter Goodwin, of the Theatre for Exeter Group, said “We’re pleased to be working closely with the City Council and aim to play an important part in the consultation process so that the views of our supporters are made known.

“Our research over the last few years and our report published in February 2014 will be made available to the consultants when they are appointed.

“We will study the results of the appraisal and make detailed comments on the recommendations put forward by the consultants.”

2017 can be better – here’s how

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2017 can be better – here’s how

After a year of turmoil in politics across the World, the Co-operative Party has a simple message:

2017 can be better – but only if we work together.

2016 was a year in which old certainties were swept away, with no consensus about what replaces them. Our country is divided, and the march of political, social, and economic progress no longer feels inevitable.

Today marks the start of a new year, our Centenary year. And it’s up to all of us to decide what this milestone means.

It can either be simply the 100th birthday of the ‘best kept secret in British politics’, or it can be something much larger: the beginning of the fight back.

That’s up to you, and it starts today with three simple asks:

  1. SHARE – Share our page at to help spread the word:
    Share on Facebook | Tweet about it | Email a friend

2. LIKE – Make sure you’re following us on social media to keep up to date with our work throughout the Centenary year:
Like us on Facebook | Follow us on Twitter

3. FOLLOW – If you’re not already a member, join the Party:
Click here to join the Party for the special centenary rate of £19.17

Events of 2016 show that people across the World are craving an alternative to the broken political and economic status quo.

Over a Century, our Party has seen a lot of change. But one thing hasn’t changed: our faith in the power of people working together.

We believe that the only way forward is an economy and society based on:

  • Us all having a share in the things we produce and consume, and a say in the decisions that affect our lives.
  • The idea that when people like one another and work together, they can achieve more than they would alone.
  • That the co-operative values and principles – now almost 150 years old – give us template to follow for transforming our economy and society

Across the World, and across Britain, hundreds of thousands of co-operatives, with billions of members, know that an alternative isn’t just a dream – it’s already out there, and it works.

2017 can be better. But only if we stand together and spread the word.

With very best wishes for the New Year from myself and the whole Co-operative Party staff team,

Claire McCarthy
General Secretary

Jeremy Corbyn’s New Year message

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Jeremy Corbyn’s New Year message

Jeremy Corbyn New Year message

In his New Year message, Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party, takes stock of “a year that will live long in all of our memories.”

Jeremy will say: “2016 will be defined in history by the referendum on our EU membership”, before adding: “people didn’t trust politicians and they didn’t trust the European Union.”

“I understand that. I’ve spent over 40 years in politics campaigning for a better way of doing things, standing up for people, taking on the establishment, and opposing decisions that would make us worse off.”

Looking back over the year, Jeremy says that “decisions made in Westminster are making people’s lives harder”, referencing rising homelessness, increased waiting times in A&Es, a creaking social care system and an explosion in low pay and zero hours contracts.

In looking forward to the challenges of the year ahead, Jeremy says: “Labour was founded to stand up for people and we founded the institutions that do that day in, and day out, like our NHS. We are the party that listens to you and makes Britain better. Let’s do that, together, in 2017.”


Jeremy Corbyn New Year message full transcript

I think it’s fair to say, that 2016 is a year that will live long in all our memories.

It saw 12 months of enormous change not just in Britain but the world.

But the New Year gives all the opportunity to start afresh.

One of the best things about my job as Leader of the Labour Party is meeting some fantastic people all over the country.

But every day I see the political system letting down the people of this country; how decisions made in Westminster are making people’s lives harder.

Whether that’s elderly people not receiving the care at home they deserve, putting huge strain on them and their family, or whether it’s the people waiting longer in A&E or on trolleys because our National Health Service and social care system is at breaking point, despite the best efforts of the wonderful and dedicated staff.

Whether it’s the homeless families who are being priced out of a housing market that only works for the few. This Christmas, 120,000 children didn’t have a home to call their own. That’s scandalous. And it’s damaging those young people’s formative years. Our children also need a first class education for everyone, not just for a privileged few.

As well as insecure housing there is massive insecurity at work too. Millions of people can’t plan their lives because whether on temporary or zero hours contracts they don’t know what job or what hours they’ll have from day to day, week to week or month to month. And for many, pay is so low that it doesn’t make ends meet.

2016 will be defined in history by the referendum on our EU membership. People didn’t trust politicians and they didn’t trust the European Union.

I understand that. I’ve spent over 40 years in politics campaigning for a better way of doing things, standing up for people, taking on the establishment, and opposing decisions that would make us worse off.

We now have the chance to do things differently. To build an economy that invests and works for everyone across all our nations and regions.

Labour accepts and respects the result of the referendum. We won’t be blocking our leaving the European Union, but we won’t stand by.

Those in charge today have put the jobs market, housing, the NHS and social care in crisis. We can’t let them mess this up. It’s about everyone’s future.

A Brexit that protects the bankers in the City and continues to give corporate handouts to the biggest companies is not good enough.

Labour was founded to stand up for people, and we founded the institutions that do that day in, and day out, like our NHS. We are the party that listens to you and makes Britain better. Let’s do that, together, in 2017.

Fairer funding for schools in #EXEStThomas?


I – and my fellow Labour colleagues in St Thomas – are very worried about the financial future of our local schools.

Yesterday the National Audit Office [NAO] published a report on the Financial Sustainability of Schools which concluded that the Department of Education [DfE]’s approach to managing the risks to schools’ financial sustainability cannot be judged to be effective or providing value for money until more progress is made, according to the National Audit Office.

The DfE’s overall schools budget is protected in real terms but does not provide for funding per pupil to increase in line with inflation. In the 2015 Spending Review, the government increased the schools budget by 7.7% from £39.6 billion in 2015-16 to £42.6 billion in 2019-20. While this increase protects the total budget from forecast inflation, the Department estimates that the number of pupils will rise over the same period, by 3.9% (174,000) in primary schools and by 10.3% (284,000) in secondary schools. Therefore, funding per pupil will, on average, rise only from £5,447 in 2015-16 to £5,519 in 2019-20, a real-terms reduction once inflation is taken into account.

In the accompanying  press release, Amyas Morse, head of the National Audit Office, said:“Mainstream schools have to make £3.0 billion in efficiency savings by 2019-20 against a background of growing pupil numbers and a real-terms reduction in funding per pupil. The Department is looking to schools to finance high standards by making savings and operating more efficiently but has not yet completed its work to help schools secure crucial procurement and workforce savings. Based on our experience in other parts of government, this approach involves significant risks that need to be actively managed. Schools could make the ‘desirable’ efficiencies that the Department judges feasible or could make spending choices that put educational outcomes at risk. The Department, therefore, needs effective oversight arrangements that give early warning of problems, and it needs to be ready to intervene quickly where problems do arise.”

This report reflects some of the concerns raised by 2 of the teaching unions – National Union of Teachers [NUT] and Association of Teachers & Lecturers [ATL] – when they launched their interactive map at the beginning of November.

In March 2016, the DFE have released plans for a Fairer Funding Formula by which existing school budgets – without any increase – will be redistributed from HM Treasury. An increase in costs for schools and inflation have not been taken into account meaning that the majority of schools are left with a real terms financial cut.

The infographics below show what is expected to happen to local schools in and around  St Thomas if, under the guise of this *fairer funding*, Theresa May and education secretary Justine Greening intend only to shift the already inadequate overall school funding around the country, rather than do the right thing – which is to increase it and ensure the most disadvantaged benefit.







For many years, Devon has been one of the lowest funded Local Education Authorities in England. In 2016/17, Devon received a Schools Block Unit of Funding [SBUF] of £4,346 per pupil compared with a national average of  £4,636 – a shortfall of  £290 per pupil, which is equivalent to £25.5m across the Local Education Authority’s for their 88,065 pupils.

The NUT/ATL calculations show that  schools in Devon could be facing additional cuts of 5%, on average a cut of £205 per child.

The three primary schools serving  St Thomas primaries will lose between £62,456 and £169,462. In the case of Montgomery Primary School this is predicted to be £132,805 or £350 per child, and the equivalent of 4 qualified teachers. This is totally unacceptable – education budgets must adequately reflect the invaluable work of local schools and teachers.

But it isn’t only me that is concerned – recently the Devon Association of Primary Headteachers [DAPH] and Devon Association of Secondary Heads [DASH] wrote jointly to MPs [including this one to Ben Bradshaw MP] and local councillors on behalf of primary and secondary schools collectively, drawing attention to a Devon wide campaign to raise awareness of the funding crisis in Devon schools.

As well as the Fairer Funding Formula, the letter covers the pressures of rising costs, the effect of the Apprenticeship Levy, the change to the Special Educational Needs and Disabilities [SEND] Code of Practice putting additional pressure on the High Needs Block Funding [HNBF], and anticipated falls in contingency reserves.

The letter concludes: “Put simply, this translates into a very real probability that schools can longer longer continue to sustain high quality provision of education and essential support for every pupil without the urgent necessity to take some very undesirable, as well as far-reaching, decisions to reduce costs in order to balance the finite resources available. Sadly, the implications of these decisions will undoubtably impact upon the children in our care, including those  from some of our most vulnerable families, and these will ultimately manifest further into the wider community.”

Further reading:
House of Commons Library: Briefing Paper SN06702  School funding in England. Current system and proposals for ‘fairer school funding’ [21 November 2016]

National Audit Office: Financial sustainability of schools – Executive Summary [14 December 2016]

Devon & Cornwall Police | FoI Request 5648/16 – Section 35


Devon & Cornwall Police

Freedom of Information Act Request No: 5648/16

Devon & Cornwall Police

Q1. How many section 35 Dispersal Orders were issued in Exeter for the calender year 2015?

The Performance & Analysis Department have provided the following information:

From data supplied [by Section 35 Dispersal Data Licensing Department] , there have been 19 section 35 dispersals issued in Exeter town for the period reviewed.

Devon County Council | FOI request 5440099 – Cost of RPZ in Exeter

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Freedom of Information Act 2000 
Information Request: 5440099 

Date of Request: 14/11/2016
Date of Disclosure: 12/12/2016 



At the meeting of Exeter HATOC held on 19 April 2016, the Committee approved the implementation of a Residents’ Parking Scheme across a wide section of Exeter. The report details suggest that a budget of around £250k is needed to progress the scheme.

Could you provide a breakdown of costs, including if possible:
– officer time to draw up the proposals
– costs of public consultation
– legal costs for advertising the relevant TROs
– cost of signage
– cost of painting relevant boxes on the highway
– cost of installing parking meters
– any other relevant costs

Devon County Council Response

This information is not held by Devon County Council.

The figure of £249,000 was budgeted in 2014/15 when further review of residents parking was agreed with Exeter HATOC, as the scheme has been developed the budgetary allocation was “rolled-over” for use in the subsequent financial years.

The figure was not derived from a detailed analysis of costs, nor an assessment of the final scheme, the scope of works was flexible. The figure was based on professional judgement and past experience of similar schemes. The allocation is sufficient to cover, design, consultation, legal, and implementation costs, any unspent monies will be returned to the On Street Parking account.

Devon County Council | FOI request 5436296 – PCNs for parking contraventions inin #EXEStThomas

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Freedom of Information Act 2000 
Information Request: 5436296 

Date of Request: 13/11/2016 
Date of Disclosure: 9/12/2016 



I would like to know how many Penalty Charge Notices were issued during the calendar year 2015 for parking contraventions in Residents’ Parking Zones in Exeter St Thomas.

Devon County Council Response 

The total number of PCN’s issued between 01/01/2015 and 31/12/2015 for the roads defined in our Appendix A* as being Residents Zone B – St Thomas Area = 367.

– Disabled Parking Bay Contraventions = 12

– Loading Bay Contraventions = 10

– Dropped/Raised Kerb Contraventions = 4

– Limited Waiting Overstay Contraventions = 49

– Yellow line Contraventions = 40

– Resident Permit Holder Only contraventions = 252

*Appendix A is included in the Articles for Devon County Council (Traffic Regulation & On-Street Parking Places) Consolidation Order 2014, which can found on DCC’s website covering Parking TROs.

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