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Exeter Community News - 30/01/2014

By Exeter Express and Echo  |  Posted: January 30, 2014


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Around Exeter area by area, the news down your street edited by Anne Byrne. Contribute by emailing Anne on abyrne@expressandecho.co.uk or give us a call on 01392 442233


Housing plans

COUNCILLORS and residents were able to find out more about proposed developments in the local area with two exhibitions last week jan 21.

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One was at the Devon Hotel where Westcountry Land were showing details of a proposed 214-home development just south of Alphington along the Chudleigh Road. Waybrook Lane is the northern boundary of this development.

The other exhibition was set up by the city council which is touring Exeter showing the proposed city-wide development which includes industrial, commercial and shopping plans in addition to housing.

This second meeting was held at the primary school.

Local councillor Rod Ruffle is encouraging residents to visit the civic centre where the city council’s plans will be on display until February 21.

Cllr Ruffle has told Community News that he is urging developers to ensure that LED street lighting is installed.

He said: “These burn only half of the energy used by current street lights.

“When the current ones were installed many years ago they reduced energy consumption for each street lamp by seven per cent and gave out 10 per cent more light by a clever arrangement of mirrors along side the bulbs.”

Crowded bus

MORNING rush crowding on the B bus has again been raised with Stagecoach by local councillor Roy Hill.

Problems have arisen since the route was extended to cover Dawlish.

It has meant that by the time the bus gets to Alphington it is already crowded with those waiting at the city stop either having to stand or not get on at all.

When the problem was first raised by Cllr Hill last November Stagecoach responded by putting a larger single decker bus, providing an extra 13 seats, on the route.

However, according to Cllr Hill, the problems are continuing and he has now been told by Stagecoach that it will look at it again.

Graffiti training

CLLR Ruffle is to undergo special graffiti training so that he can tackle vandalism of murals on the Alphington side of the Exe Bridges subway.

Cllr Ruffle told Community News: “I recently took a phone call from a resident who walks through the subways at Exe Bridges.

“Graffiti has appeared on several of the murals and having looked at them I think it would be difficult to remove them by traditional cleaning methods as this would also remove part of the mural.

“I have sought advice from cleansing and as a result of these discussions I have decided to do some training in the use of the do-it yourself graffiti cleaning kits.

“This will enable residents, after training, to clean off small scale graffiti.”

Cllr Ruffle added: “One such residents’ association interested is the maintenance group in Loram Way who faced a graffiti problem shortly before their inspection by the Royal Horticultural Society in the It’s Your Neighbourhood competition.”


Spaces ‘lies’

THE electronic displays which tell drivers how many spaces are left in the city’s car parks are so inaccurate that it would be better to switch them off, according to Emma Morse, county councillor for Pinhoe and Mincinglake.

Cllr Morse said: “They are looked after by Devon County Council but I think they might as well be switched off as they are just giving people false hope and making traffic worse, as you can drive across town to a car park because they have told you there are spaces but when you get there you find a queue.

A Devon County Council spokesman said: “We are aware of recurring problems with the signs at the top of Holloway St and Willeys Avenue, which we have asked our contractor to investigate.

“We are also currently not receiving information from the John Lewis car park, which is being investigated by the city council.

“All signs for Mary Arches Street car park have been turned off as the count loops are damaged, and won’t be repaired until the entrance and exit to the car park has been resurfaced by the city council.”

Busy roads

THOUSANDS of drivers pour into Exeter every day – and Community News has the figures to prove it.

Traffic counts provided by Devon County Council show that each day Topsham Road carries 25,000 vehicles, going along Pinhoe Road there are 15,000 vehicles per day.

Honiton Road and the Heavitree corridor carries 25,000 vehicles per day and, across the city Cowley Bridge Road takes 14,000 a day.

But the winner in the busiest road stakes is Alphington Road, clocking up 28,000 journeys a day.

Dog fouling

THE city council’s stencilled signs on pavements warning about fines for allowing dogs to foul have met with varying success across the city.

The bright orange stencils, which eventually wash off in the rain, were trialled in a few wards, including Polsloe.

Keith Owen, the city’s portfolio holder for environment and leisure, said: “We have received a lot of requests from councillors and the public for stencilling across the city.

“The exercise has been carried out with varied responses. Overall the effects have been positive, although in the odd place no benefit has been detected.

“Importantly we have raised the awareness of the issue which we believe should prove beneficial in the long term. We are proposing to continue with the exercise and of course we will keep it under review.”

Clearing drains

COUNTY councillors have expressed their concerns about proposals to reduce the regularity of cleaning drains in the city.

Cleaning out blocked drains was raised as an urgent item at the most recent meeting of Exeter highways with Cllr Rob Hannaford highlighting the problems which have occurred in Wardrew Road in St Thomas where, on a number of occasions, there have been puddles several feet deep.

Cllr Jill Owen, county councillor for St David’s and St James and chairman of the highways committee, said: “I am concerned because the county council is looking at reducing clearing drains to less than once a year.

“I think it is wrong to be thinking of doing that; in some places there are lakes stretching across puddles.

A highways officer told the committee that at the moment the gulley (or drain) cleaning had stopped and was being done on a priority basis.

Percy Prowse, county councillor for Duryard and Pennsylvania, said that a large number of drains were totally silted up and had been since last summer and there was a lot of pooling right across the city.

The councillors agreed to register their concerns at a forthcoming county council budget meeting and say that there should be no further cuts to the drain clearing budget.

Library news

ALL the evidence points to Exeter Central Library being well-loved.

When Devon County Council held a public consultation on the library it had more than 900 suggestions for titles or subject areas and some 45 people said they would be interested in volunteering in the new library. there was also strong support for more events and activities to be held in the re-vamped library.

All the responses received have been fed into plans for purchasing new stock and managing collections.

Findings included the views that the children’s stock was good but readers wanted more in the way of adult classics, and up-to-date fiction and non-fiction and a “wider, deeper range of authors”.

In addition around 30 people volunteered to give more in-depth views of the library’s overall stock and a workshop/meeting is to take place in the next few weeks.

A report on the consultation’s findings has been presented to members of the Exeter Board.

(See also Topsham)

Hospice charity

EXETER-BASED Hospiscare has asked Community News to point out that no money raised by an organisation called Hospice Aid has been given to the local hospice.

Glynis Atherton, Hospiscare’s chief executive, said: “Hospiscare has been made aware that an organisation called Hospice Aid has mailed people in the Exeter area. Hospiscare would like it to be known that this organisation does not support Exeter, mid and east Devon Hospiscare.

“Anyone wishing to know more about this organisation can view their accounts on the charity commissions’ website.

“Hospiscare is your local hospice charity. It provides care at the Exeter hospice and throughout the community. Eighty-eight pence in every £1 raised by Hospiscare is spent on local services.”

Bus shelters

FOR some time Kevin Mitchell, city councillor for St James, has been trying to get a new bus shelter installed in Union Road.

The problem is that the new bus shelters which are supposed to be installed across the city on a rolling programme, are too big for some of the sites and the Union Road bus site is one example.

Cllr Mitchell said: “There appears to be no solution yet in sight to enable the Union Road shelter to be reinstalled soon.

“The issue is that the new style cantilever shelter, although it is available with a narrower roof, comes with some fairly chunky uprights. (See photo)

“There isn’t room for one of these at Union Road and other roads in the city could suffer the same frustration.

“I have been informed that Clear Channel, the providers of the shelters, recognise that this issue prevents them fulfilling their obligation to replace all the city’s shelters on a rolling programme, so they are currently in discussions with the manufacturer to see if a simpler design without the uprights can be reinstated.

“I will continue to push for Union Road to be treated as a priority once a solution has been found.”


A WORKSHOP for parents with overexcited children is being held in Exeter on February 18.

Called Coffee & Simone it is being hosted by Simone de Hoogh who founded PowerWood to raise awareness around overexcitability and offer support to families with overexcitable children and/or teenagers.

Simone is now working with more than 40 volunteers to increase PowerWood’s reach and the services offered.

February workshop will be held at the Mill on the Exe.

For further information visit the website www.powerwood.org.uk

Countess Wear

Developing plan

RESIDENT Jill Barnes is urging fellow locals to write to the city council to make their views known on plans for future development around the area.

The city council is currently consulting on possible areas for development, one of which is fields to the rear of the West of England School and College on Topsham Road.

Mrs Barnes, who has lived in the area for more than 30 years, is particularly concerned about how any such development would be accessed and what effect it would have on traffic at the Countess Wear roundabout and on Topsham Road.


We are happy!

RESIDENTS of the new town are happy and are looking forward to future facilities and development.

The results from the first ever survey of the community are in and 94 per cent of those who took part believe Cranbrook is a good place to live, 90 per cent get on well with the people they meet and that residents like the community spirit and the friendly people.

More than half (55 per cent) are satisfied with access to services in Cranbrook and they are keen to have a local shop and a play area.

The majority are currently registered with doctors in Pinhoe and Broadclyst and the survey revealed that residents prioritised a doctors’ surgery, then a pharmacy and then a dentist for Cranbrook.

Of Cranbrook’s population, 61per cent had moved from the Exeter area, while 22 per cent had moved from elsewhere in East Devon and 11per cent moved from elsewhere in Devon.

Among the six per cent coming in from outside Devon, people had moved from Hampshire, Middlesex, Blackpool, York, Taunton, Portsmouth, Hertfordshire and Cheshire, mostly for jobs nearby.

Corena Ward, Cranbrook’s community development worker, said: “The results are very interesting and give a real insight into not only what people want, but how they feel about their community. Having this snapshot of current needs within the community will help us to prioritise the delivery of a range of things for Cranbrook.

“Also, with a second round of data collection planned for 2015, we will be able to compare how well residents needs have been met during 2014”.

Paul Diviani, leader of East Devon District Council, said: “The results are very pleasing for those of us who remember when Cranbrook was just a diagram on a map.

“A small percentage, as you would expect, come from elsewhere in the UK, drawn by the beauty of the region and the prospect of working in the area. Hopefully this finally puts the lie to the mischievous rumours of vast numbers of homes being bought up to rehouse problem families from urban trouble-spots elsewhere in the UK.”


Whist anyone?

A WEEKLY whist drive club is looking for new members.

The sessions are held every Thursday at the Conservative Club in Church Street, Heavitree.

The organisers say it is a nice, friendly group and everyone will be welcome.

It starts 7.15pm for 7.30pm and costs £1.70. More details on 01392 255677 or 01392 205605.


Police briefing

ON Tuesday, February 4, the neighbourhood police team will be holding a street briefing for residents of the area outside the shops on Beacon Lane from 3pm to 4pm.

Local officers will be in attendance as well as local councillors.

All residents are invited to pop along and speak about issues they feel are important to the community. “Have your say” cards will be available on the day should those attending wish to pass on their issues in confidence, or if residents are unable to attend local officers will arrange delivery by contacting the police non-emergency number-101. Alternatively email local PCSO ed.mitchell@devonandcornwall.pnn.police.uk


No single lines

RESIDENTS in Rosebarn Lane have lost their battle to have two-hour parking restrictions on part of the road – so far.

After residents’ only parking zones were established in nearby streets, Rosebarn Lane has become a car park for university staff and commuters.

In addition, it has become busier with traffic going into town, according to local councillor Percy Prowse following the road changes around John Lewis with drivers choosing Rosebarn Lane instead of Pennsylvania Road.

The residents say safety has become an issue – in the past two years they have recorded about 30 incidents of wing mirrors being knocked off and vehicles mounting pavements.

Highways officers met with residents and councillors to come up with solutions but while residents in Rosebarn Lane wanted no parking in part of the road between 10am and noon, residents in Armstrong Avenue and Aldrin Road objected because they said that the problems of parking would simply be moved on to their streets.

A compromise was reached – double yellow lines around the junctions in Rosebarn Lane but no single lines restricting parking and conditions in the road will be monitored and reviewed in six months’ time.


Railway halt

THERE’S great news for rail users with the news that rather than suffer when the Newcourt Station opens the service to Polsloe bridge will actually improve.

Richard Westlake, county councillor for Polsloe and Newtown attended a meeting between First Great Western, the Devon and Cornwall Rail Partnership and the Avocet Line Supporters group to talk about the stop at Polsloe Bridge and his report to Community News is very positive.

Cllr Westlake said: “I asked about the future of the service as some people were worried that stops at Polsloe Bridge might reduce when the Newcourt station opens but I was told that rather they are looking to improve the service and once they have the station at Marsh Barton open you will be able to travel all the way from Polsloe into Central Station and then St David’s and on to Marsh Barton without having to change trains.

“First Great Western is very keen to work with Devon Metro on all the Devon lines to encourage as many commuters as they can to use the train.”

The appearance of the entrance to Polsloe Bridge has also been improved with First Great Western cutting back the brambles and introducing litter bins.

They are also looking to put in some bench seats and improving the shelter.

It will be made more visible so that there is less chance of it being vandalised.


VIPs for launch

ATTENDING the official opening of brain injury charity Headway this week will be Keiron Northcott, deputy chief executive of Exeter Chiefs and player and Tom Hayes.

The new centre on the Quay will formally opened by the Lord Mayor Cllr Rachel Lyons on Thursday evening. Jan 30

St James

Potholes filled?

LOCAL councillor Kevin Mitchell is hopeful that potholes in Edgerton Park Road will be filled soon.

Cllr Mitchell told Community News: “I have contacted the county council regarding potholes that have appeared in Edgerton Park Road following the recent bad weather.

“The highways department are to inspect the area and hopefully some patching will occur.

“If residents are aware of any further potholes then they should contact Cllr Mitchell or the highways department direct at eastareahm@devon.gov.uk


CLLR Mitchell has also been in touch with the county council about the problem of recurrent flooding at the Prospect Park / Culverland Road junction.

Cllr Mitchell said: “This has been a recurring issue for many years and the recent very bad weather has once again highlighted this matter.

“The highways department are to inspect the area and I will be asking for a solution to be sort.”

St Loyes


ELECTRIC cars this way.

Exeter’s motorway services station is seeking planning permission from the city council for a charging point for electric cars close to its main building.

St Thomas

Huge success

THE organisers of the recent St Thomas Local History Day have been in touch with Community News to say it was a huge success.

The event was attended by around 300 people, as well as three classes from St Thomas Primary School who were treated to a short talk by local historian Christine Trigger about her school days.


Library plans

LIBRARY provision in the town is expected to be transferred from Devon County Council to Estuary League of Friends later this year.

The county council is continuing its discussion with ELF following a public consultation to which some 70 people contributed.

Although a small number expressed concerns about ELF’s capacity to undertake the running of the library the findings were that the majority of the town appear supportive.

A report on the findings of the consultation have been presented to the Exeter Board.



THERE are four of them at the junction of Cowick Lane and Cowick Street and more on a regular basis at the Alphington Road junction by Sainsbury’s.

They are signs which have been tied to posts and traffic light pillars and Cowick councillor Heather Morris believes they are dangerous.

Cllr Morris said: “I took some pictures of the ones at the Cowick Street junction this week. Two of them were for Christmas trees so they have obviously been put up and forgotten about.

“I think they are highly dangerous as people will look at them instead of paying attention to the road.”

At the last meeting of the city’s community scrutiny meeting Cllr Morris asked environment portfolio holder if anything was being done about fly posting in the city and he said that the city council was taking action.

Whipton Barton

New apartments

DEVELOPERS McCarthy and Stone are hoping for planning permission to build 41 retirement flats next to Sainsbury’s on Pinhoe Road.

Of the 41 flats, 18 will be one-bedroomed and the remaining 23 two-bedroomed.

Access to the new development would be from the spine road for Hill Barton which has recently been given planning permission.

The proposal is for a three-storey development with basement level parking with 33 spaces as well as a store for mobility scooter.

New helpers

WHIPTON Community Association has been successful at finding new people to help in the running of the association.

Gayle Spalding is the new secretary and Karen Hill is responsible for hall bookings, so anyone wanting to use the hall for an event is asked to phone Karen on 07402 189108, as from February 1.

The association will be holding a jumble sale in the Community Hall on Saturday March 8 from 2pm to 3pm. Contributions for the sale are needed.

If you have any items to give, they can be left in the porch when the hall is in use, or brought on the day from noon.

World Cup

RUGBY posts could be erected at the junction of Vaughan Road and Pinhoe Road to promote the Rugby World Cup coming to the city.

The city council is applying for planning permission.

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