Our Exeter

Copyright © 2010, ‘Our Exeter’, all rights reserved.


The System


Relevant documentation was distributed, in advance, to all that attended this meeting, plus many others that didn’t but whom it was anticipated would have something valuable and constructive to contribute.  How wrong we were!  Antipathy soon replaced anticipation. Individual offers of support made to community representatives over many months were discarded outside the Committee Room door.  Self-preservation and maintaining their status quo was the only focus.

Present at this meeting were -

3 Community Representatives

City Councillor Stella Brock (Chair)

City Councillor  Kevin Mitchell- Portfolio Holder for Community and Leisure.

County Councillor Phil Brock

Neighbourhood Beat Manager  Chris Leisk - Devon & Cornwall Constabulary - More police info here

Head of Exeter City Community Patrollers

Paul Faulkner - Manager of Exeter City Parks & Open Spaces

Sue Lawrence - Chair of Exeter ParksWatch (EPW) - Ex-Chair DaCCWA - EPW ‘Affiliated’ to Devon & Cornwall Community Watch Association (DaCCWA).

Gina Richards - Member EPW Committee and, allegedly, Looe Road Park Working Group community representative.  It is assumed that Gina is endowed with psychic powers.  This assumption is based upon the fact that, despite being one of several community representatives, she never actually discusses anything with anyone in the community, preferring to confine her conversations to her cronies within EPW and St.David’s Neighbourhood Partnership (SDNP)

Invited but absent -

Bindu Arjoon - Assistant CEO of Exeter City Council (apologies but “on leave”).

Christine Fraser  -  Self-appointed ‘head-honcho’ of EPW, ex-committee member of SDNP and now a ‘trustee’ of Exeter so called ‘Community Centre’, and whose actions were only one of the many focus of complaints by community representatives.

More details of how Exeter Parks Watch perform can be found here. (offsite link).


The meeting begins by community representatives attempting to present the various complaints against Exeter Parks Watch, Exeter City Council’s Parks Department and St.David’s Neighbourhood Partnership (SDNP).  Complaints specifically relating to the actions of Christine Fraser (SDNP and EPW), Sue Lawrence, Chair of Exeter Parks Watch and Paul Faulkner, Manager of Exeter City Council’s Parks and Open Spaces were brushed aside as  ‘not relevant to the meeting’.

Paul Faulkner had clearly decided that he would pre-empt any possible instigation of the complaints procedure  by beginning this process, against himself!  It soon became obvious that nobody present had any intention of dealing with the complaints from our community.  This was further reinforced when the Chair commented that, “This meeting has been organised to discuss, “improved communications in the future between the community and official organisations, not to go over old stuff”.   This comment was further supported by an ECC representative who commented that, “This was not a suitable Forum to discuss these matters (the complaints)”.  Both of these comments seemed at odds with the fact that dealing with a wide variety of complaints re the (in)actions of Christine Fraser (SDNP), Exeter Parks Watch and Paul Faulkner, was precisely why community reps had insisted on this meeting.

It became very clear after only a few minutes that the concerns of our community were not going to be addressed, or taken seriously, by any of the official representatives present at this meeting.

Damage limitation?  Sweeping it under the carpet?  Attempted ‘intimidation’ of community reps by a large authoritarian presence, 90+% of whom made no comment during the brief proceedings?  You decide. Accountability? Transparency?  We certainly didn’t see any of it at this meeting.

Community reps suggested that the complaints against Paul Faulkner should be withdrawn, hoping that he would accept this as a gesture of goodwill by our community and result in a more responsible attitude from him.  This was a mistake, and Paul Faulkner continues to provide the absolute minimum of service provision within our community.  Discussions with others has revealed that our experiences of Paul Faulkner’s lack of professionalism is shared by others, including some of his ECC colleagues.  We have received comments including, “Paul hardly ever responds to emails”, and “I know, what is he like!”.  What indeed.  He isn’t like some absent-minded eccentric old relative whose attitude shouldn’t be questioned because, “That’s just the way he is”.  As a Manager/Head of a Council Department, whose salary is paid by the taxpayers of Exeter, it’s about time that it wasn’t, “Just the way he is”.

The community reps ‘gave it up as a bad job’, this meeting blatantly stonewalled our efforts and refused to address any of our complaints.  A fine example of Exeter City Council democracy in action!  

Our community always welcomes any meaningful support from any individual or organisation, but what we do not welcome are any more experiences as have been outlined throughout this website.

The valuable (only) lesson learnt from this meeting is that we as a community will not be so easily fobbed off in future.  

Authority may, of course, wish to provide the support that was promised but rarely delivered, time alone will tell. Whatever they do will be reported here.

Email us your comments here


Unfortunately, the realities of everyday life in Exeter bears little resemblance to the PR bullshit that we are constantly bombarded with on a daily basis, invariably at the publics’ expense. Based upon our own experiences, this site will illustrate perfectly how what you  want, as residents, is invariably well down the pecking order of importance in the eyes of our supposed representatives, some public servants and self-serving individuals and organisations.


After many months of persistent pressure from community representatives Councillor Stella Brock finally organised a meeting at Exeter City’s Civic Centre.  This meeting was requested to address a wide variety of community concerns relating to the actions, and lack of them, by various individuals and organisations.    You may want to compare our experiences with where you live.


The Prime Minister Comments -

“It really is a total change in the way our country is run.

From closed systems to open markets.

From bureaucracy to democracy.

From big government to Big Society.

From politician power to people power.”