Our email address is: info@exeterstjamesforum.org




Police keen to respond rapidly to local covid-19 breaches

Inspector Simon Arliss who leads our local Policing team shares the frustration that the issue of returning students from their initial lockdown homes, to take up residence again in their rented shared houses has still not been resolved.

However, in recognition of the sheer number of the covid-19 breaches, he is keen that his team should respond swiftly to all local reports of breaches to current ‘gatherings’ legislation whenever resources allow.

Thus where there are local gatherings outside of more than 6 people from more than one household or of one or more persons in a house where they do not live (except as permitted ‘bubble’ involving individuals who live alone), Inspector Arliss is now asking residents to call 999.

He has provided the following advice to residents calling 999 to report such gatherings, should the call handler still divert you to report on 101:

May I suggest that residents calling-in state that the local policing team are aware that COVID breaches are occurring and that they are keen to investigate thoroughly. Hence, notwithstanding the availability of police units, if officers are able to attend (whilst the suspected breach is occurring), that will help, considerably to ‘educate’ and ‘enforce’ and therefore deter further breaches.

Residents have now reported rapid attendance following 999 calls and hopefully this will now act as an effective deterrent to others.

A response from the University to the return of students into our community.

ESJF can confirm that the University authorities have now begun to engage with the Forum at a high level, though it continues to claim students are permitted to return to regroup and stay in their HMOs in Exeter despite having moved away immediately prior to lockdown. The lame justification offered is shameful, entirely contrary to all that Government Guidance is seeking to achieve and a clear attempt to make use of perceived loopholes in legislation. The Forum’s challenge continues, as the Steering Group works with councillors and residents’ associations to seek a satisfactory resolution.

Forum Press Release 20 June 2020

Such was the Forum's concern at the University's stance that a press statement was issued (reproduced below). Subsequently the University responded by justifying the return of students from all over the country, to live in their student houses for the final weeks of their tenancy contracts, by claiming this meets Government "moving home" guidance. However this guidance applies only to situations where new contracts are signed either for house purchase or new rental.

Click here to read Exeter University's response to the press release

Click here to see the Forum's reply 

Press Release Reyurning Students

Commitment from Exeter Community Safety Partnership

At the request of Karime Hassan, CEO Exeter City Council, Exeter Community Safety Partnership, a joint Police and ECC initiative, has confirmed its support, stating ‘guidance in relation to social distancing, as well as the specific guidance for those in higher education to which you refer, is not enforceable by the Police or Council. However, our officers will seek to encourage those who are not adhering to the guidance to comply wherever possible’.

University’s ‘top priority’ claim triggers Forum Press Release

On 19 June DevonLive publicised the serious concerns of a local resident at the huge influx of students who have returned to Exeter and are socialising in our community, with scant regard for covid-19 regulations. Fear of the potentially enormous increased risk of coronavirus infection was mentioned and the University of Exeter gave a brief response, commenting:

‘The health and safety of students, staff and the wider community is always our top priority.’

The evidence sadly does not currently support this and the response has led the Steering Group to conclude it could be silent no longer and has now issued the above Press Release to challenge this assertion. The only conclusion that can be reached from the advice issued by the University to students since 27 May is that this is mere rhetoric. Sadly the reality is that the University’s stance is responsible for substantially increasing the risk of a spike of infection in our community, with potential implications for the health of local residents and the speed of economic recovery.

The background: Disbelief and dismay at University’s stance leads to challenge on behalf of residents

Our reading from a trawl of relevant current Government Guidance documents is conclusive and unsurprising; students are permitted to return to Exeter to collect their belongings left behind in their term-time accommodation, but only if they can return whence they came without involving even a single overnight stay and adhere to social distancing and other regulations at all times. They certainly do not have permission to regroup in households, each of some 5 – 12 students, to stay for days or weeks back in St James. The University has been urged to make this clear following Cambridge University which has advised:

PHE advice at 02/06/20 is (also) clear that a general return of students is not yet permitted and, in particular, movements between households where this means moving into a new shared household should not yet be happening.

Exeter University continues to refuse to amend its stance, maintaining its interpretation of regulations is correct, though has repeatedly ignored requests to identify the specific regulations behind its advice. The Steering Group is grateful for the continuing and full backing of our City Councillors and D&C Constabulary Exeter Sector Inspector, Simon Arliss who remain as frustrated as we are. Karime Hassan, CEO Exeter City Council was alerted to the issues on 15 June, and a reply is currently awaited.

We have now asked our County Councillor, Su Aves, to brief Devon County Council’s Director of Public Health asking for investigation of the University’s interpretations of regulations as clarification and issue of appropriate advice to students remains vital.

Recognising the need for a Force-wide statement, Insp. Arliss has escalated the matter via the D&C Covid Command Chain and a definitive police response is expected imminently.

St James’ volunteers show real community spirit!

What a journey we have been on as individuals and as a community these last months! How heartening that so many volunteers came forward to offer help and support to those whose situations required it. Particular thanks go to our Resident’s Associations (RAs), in particular Bury Meadow RA that volunteered to extend the support it offered to its own residents, to those in St James who do not have an RA. Also to Debs Shine who together with Anne Jobson, ESJF Chair, set up a new support group for Old Tiverton Road and Luccombe Court.

Student volunteers praised for joining the community effort

Amongst these volunteers were a number of university students who opted to remain here in our community throughout lockdown and our special thanks go to them for their public-spirited involvement and adhering to covid regulations like the rest of us.

However, no-one in the community will have failed to notice the recent return of hundreds of other students who had left Exeter, dispersing around the country, when the University closed. This has created a very difficult and worrying situation in our community.


DCC Parking Enforcement Update

In the light of government guidance Devon County Council has updated its message on parking enforcement:

"From Monday 18th May, parking enforcement will be reinstated for Pay & Display, Limited Waiting and Residents Parking. In line with national guidance we will utilise warning notices for the first week as we recommence enforcement of these restrictions and then return to live enforcement on Monday 25rd May. Due consideration will be provided via the appeals process throughout the pandemic period.

Updated webpages and FAQ will be provided to ensure clarity on the support we will continue to provide health and care workers, and that we will continue to offering grace periods on expired residents permits until 30th June (in line with national guidance). We will also need to consider some form of short term permits for those having to home work or self-isolate.

Staffing will be scaled up to meet the enforcement needs of the network as we move forward, this will be gradual and proportionate."  


ECT CIC: Coronavirus Hardship Relief Project

Exeter Communities Together CIC is running a Coronavirus Hardship Relief Project involving giving free meals to those facing a tough time, as well as making social guidelines in different languages more accessible. From this week, they will be distributing nutritious meals to those facing a tough time due to the Coronavirus / COVID-19 outbreak. These are frozen meals in appropriate portion sizes, and mainly for those that are elderly, vulnerable, a key worker or otherwise struggling financially.

This project is being delivered by Exeter Communities Together CIC, and is separate to the project delivering events and activities which is led by Ubuntu Counselling Services.

You may know someone in need, so please feel free to circulate this among your network/contacts. A flyer with more details including the process is below, as is the current meal options we have at the moment.

ECT would like to thank Exeter City Council for funding this project, as well as Devon County Council for providing resources for social guidelines in 40 different languages.

ECT Covid Flyer 1

ECT Covid Flyer 2

Click here to download this flyer and here to view meal options


A message from Suzanne Tracey, Chief Executive, RD&E

Covid RDE Statement 1

Covid RDE Statement 2

Click here to download the RDE Statement



This is the urgent plea from Devon, Somerset and Torbay Trading Standards

Covid Trading Standards Scam Alert


Click here to download the Trading standards flyer

Scroll down the page to see details of local supporter Saunders Convenience Store delivery arrangements.

 Covid-19 Flier 1

Covid-19 Flier 2

 Saunders Deliveries Flier

Forum AGM 

Matt Huland, Exeter City Council's Resource and Recovery Manager, addressing members about new kerbside recycling plans prior to the Forum AGM on Wednesday 27 November.

AGM photo


Have Your Say

The annual “Have Your Say” meeting held at St Sidwell’s School on Wednesday 23 October attracted a bumper audience of local residents. The panel, chaired by the Forum’s Anne Jobson, was made up of representatives from Exeter City Council, the University and our DCC and ECC Councillors.

Panel from l to r: Peter Hearn (ECC), Cllr Keith Owen, Cllr Su Aves, Anne Jobson, Cllr Kevin Mitchell, Cllr Mike Mitchell, Matthew Hanna (Manager, Cifford House), Sunday Blake (University Students Guild), James Lindsay (University Students Guild).

A lively question and answer session prompted discussion on a variety of concerns. Matters raised included: traffic congestion in York Road, particularly at the junction with Longbrook street; parking problems exacerbated by a lack of enforcement of car free designation for new developments; speeding, notably along Howell Road, New North Road and Well Street; the high concentration of student accommodation and associated issues of anti-social behaviour, late night noise and rubbish; light pollution from the new PBSA Clifford House; and a disturbing absence of uniformed police presence in the city centre in the evenings, especially on Friday and Saturday nights when the High Street was described as resembling a war zone.

Apologies were received from the following who were disappointed not to be available to join the panel on the night: Insp Simon Arliss and PC Rob Deacock (Devon & Cornwall Police), Simon Hill (ECC Cleansing & Fleet Manager), Rory Cunningham (Exeter University Community Liaison Officer), Chris Rook (DCC Traffic Management Team Manager) and Cllr Percy Prowse (DCC).

Questions for any of these individuals may be sent to info@exterstjamesforum.org


Queen's Crescent Garden


Application Approved!

We are delighted to pass on the news that Exeter St James Community Trust's planning application for the completion of Queen's Crescent Garden boundary restoration, with its new entrance and associated infrastructure, has been approved!


Many thanks to all Members who submitted comments to the Planning Department. Your expressions of strong continuing support were greatly appreciated.

Contractor appointed for final phase of boundary restoration

Following planning consent the Trust moved swiftly to appoint Steve Farley as the contractor to carry out completion of the boundary restoration and creation of the final new entrance. Steve is the master builder who constructed the new entrance on Queen's Crescent and rebuilt the demolished Longbrook Street corner wall. It is anticipated that the work will take place in November / December.





Local Businesses and Organisations Send Working Parties to QCG

Anyone passing QCG recently will have noticed the transformation to the Queens Crescent border up to the corner with York Road. This is the result of the combined efforts of a number of working parties from local businesses and organisations which have come forward, unprompted, offering their practical support.
The tremendous impact of these combined efforts means that the section of boundary where the next phase of work will focus, is now well prepared for this to commence.











 We are grateful to all the working parties from Clifton Emery Design, Exeter University Student Services and Estates Patrol Teams and LDA Design.

Thanks are also due to all those who, as Forum and/or Trust members, demonstrate ongoing committment to the vital practical tasks of grass mowing, litterpicking and clearing felled logs. Because they have been carrying out this work routinely on a regular basis, it is all too easy for the rest of us to take their efforts for granted. So ...


Could you help with practical tasks and maintenance? If so, contact either the Trust or Forum.

Have you joined our Community Trust yet?

Exeter St James Community Trust Ltd, set up by the Forum to take legal responsibility for the QCG project and any other projects brought forward that benefit the St James' community, is working hard to realise the vision first articulated by the community during the Forum's neighbourhood planning consultations.

Trust Membership is open to any individual, or any incorporated or non-incorporated organisation, keen to see the improvement of St James whether they live in St James or not.

The Forum would like to encourage each of our Members and Associate Members to become a member of the Trust. If this is something you have yet to get round to, why not complete the appropriate downloadable form today (click here and scroll down the page) and send it off with payment for a minimum of 5 £1 shares?

Become a member of this charitable society devoted exclusively to making St James a great place to live and work!


ESJF LEGAL FUND ..........

               click here for the background to this appeal






Welcome to the Exeter St James Forum website where we bring you news, features, information and announcements about a Neighbourhood Plan to enhance the area in which we live.

The Government has introduced new planning policies which have given more power to local people. The Localism Act was given Royal Assent in November 2011 and communities are being encouraged to prepare neighbourhood plans to influence what happens in their area.

A group of residents’ associations and individuals, representing most parts of St James, joined forces as the Exeter St James Forum with the aim of preparing a Neighbourhood Plan for the ward. Following a two year process the Plan received a 'Big Yes Vote' in a referendum on, 2 May 2013. The now fully adopted plan sets out a vision for St James and our priorities for the future. Exeter City Council and Devon County Council will take the plan into account when making planning and development decisions. The plan should also help the community to secure funding for projects to improve the area. Find out more.

 The three key priorities are...  


If you would like to become involved in the Exeter St James Forum or would like to be kept up-to-date through the mailing list please CLICK here.

Our Email address is – info@exeterstjamesforum.org 

See the full list of our associates...

The information on this website is offered in good faith.  

Exeter St James Forum Privacy Policy Download a copy






 newsletter pic

LATEST ISSUE About St James Issue 10, December 2019

About St James Issue 9, May 2019

About St James Issue 8, December 2018

About St James issue 7, May 2018

About St James issue 6, December 2017

About St James issue 5. May 2017

About St James Issue 4, December 2016

About St James Issue 3, April 2016

About St James Issue 2, September 15

About St James Issue 1, April 15




To advertise your business here and support the high profile Queen's Crescent Garden Project please get in touch CLICK. From just £50 a year! Includes a link to your website and insertion in "About St James"  the joint Trust/Forum newsletter delivered twice a year to every property in St James


WELL, WELL, WELL..Find out more about the ancient holy well discovered in Well Street



Following on from a Big Yes vote for Exeter St James Neighbourhood Plan on 2nd May 2013, the Plan was officially adopted by Exeter City Council on 16 July 2013. Find out more in Newsletter 18

The Plan now forms part of Exeter’s statutory development plans and the policies it contains will be used to help determine planning applications.

Congratulations from Nick Boles MP & Right Hon Don Foster MP CLICK

See the Neighbourhood Plan Main Document   CLICK