FoBRA is the main representative voice for residents' groups in Bath.
We meet regularly with Council leaders, elected members, officers, the Police and the business community to make them aware of the views of Bath residents and to try and ensure that they take our concerns into account.
Observers are welcome to attend FoBRA committee meetings. Click here to view the arrangements for observers.
A letter from FoBRA entitled "City Needs a Student Housing Policy" was published by the Bath Chronicle on 25th Aug 2016: www.bathresidents.org.uk/cms/uploads/student-housing-letter-to-chron-19-aug-16.pdf .
About 45 FoBRA members enjoyed their Summer Garden Party in the grounds of beautiful Lyncombe Court on the evening of 27th June.
Members can read more about this and sign a petition by visiting this site:
Extension of the Bath Christmas Market
At the Development Management Committee (DMC) meeting in the Guildhall on 1 June 2016, FoBRA (having cleared this with its membership) took the opportunity to object to the planning application by Bath Tourism Plus to extend the Bath Christmas Market 2016 from 18 to 25 days.
We did not question the principle of the market and recognised that the extension would bring some marginal economic benefits to the City, but we expressed our concern at the socio-economic cost to so many residents and small businesses, not just in the market footprint area: but to our health, well-being, equilibrium and peace of mind leading up to Christmas. FoBRA did not wish residents to have to endure the additional noise, pollution, pedestrian congestion, extra traffic, additional parking problems and general disruption generated by the market for not just 25 days but actually for up to 39 days, including 10 setting up and four take down days.
FoBRA was joined in objection by the Walcot Trading Association representing about 300 small traders from Broad Street, Margaret's Buildings, Widcombe High Street, Bartlett St, London Rd and Walcot Street itself, and by a City Centre Councillor, who also spoke against the proposed extension. The DMC's refusal of this planning application (8:1 with 1 abstention) was a small victory for common sense and the ability to look beyond short term economic viability in favour of a long term vision to create a successful city for everyone. Teaming up with the Walcot Trading Association was key to FoBRA's success - bringing together Bath residents and small businesses whose lives would be disrupted by the extension showed how working together brings results.
Bath City Forum
The next meeting of the Bath City Forum will take place on Tuesday 26th April in Southdown Church Centre, Mount Road, at 6pm, with a police briefing beforehand, at 5.15pm. Several FoBRA members have been co-opted to serve on the BCF. The public are welcome to attend. Agenda at https://democracy.bathnes.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=567&MId=4765&Ver=4
News on the Rec situation has been sparse recently, but the following has come from PERA, and is of Bath-wide importance - hence its publication here. In PERA's current newsletter the following is written about the Rec and the Rec Trust:
Following the Trustees' successful appeal that the Rec does not have to be kept as open space, and can be sold, PERA representatives (excluding N Websper) have met with the Trustees to agree certain measures. At present the Trustees will not agree to anything that restricts their ability to hold any number of events, use the whole of the Rec for a stadium, with no limit on height or size, and no minimum amount of open space for amateur sport. They will also not agree to anything that restricts their ability to sell the Rec in whole or in part."
By way of clarification:
• Nigel Websper (PERA Chairman) did not take part in the above meeting with the Rec Trustees simply because he is still involved in the Lower (Charity) Tribunal legal negotiations about the precise clauses and wording by which the Rec Trust will be bound in the future (the higher (appeal) court having returned the case to the lower tribunal for decision by negotiation).
• The statement "....use the whole of the Rec for a stadium, with no limit on height or size....." would, of course, be subject to planning permission, which is exclusively the territory of the Local Planning Authority and the Planning Inspectorate, not the Trust.
It is significant that little, if any, of this has appeared recently in the Press.
See "Papers" for details.
See "Papers" for the text of a letter by our Transport Lead, Patrick Rotheram, published in the Chronicle 7th April, giving the true situation on air pollution in Bath, and its consequences. The editor declined to include the "Corridor of Death" map as well, but it can be found under "Papers" too.
FoBRA wrote and was published in the Chronicle 25th Feb 16, countering Alderman Dave Dixon's letter of the previous week in which he argued that the Eastern Park and Ride should not be built and that attempts to control city centre parking should be abandoned. See the "Papers" tab for the full text.
A debate on the issues to be considered when we vote for or against an Executive Mayor for B&NES on 10th March took place during the FoBRA Committee meeting on 4th Feb 16. See the "Papers" tab for details.
FoBRA has objected to the Council's proposals for cycle lane changes in London Road. See "Papers" tab for details.
The FoBRA Chairman addressed the Council's Development and Scrutiny Panel for Planning, Housing and Economic Development Policy on 5 Jan 16 about the Placemaking Plan, in which he asked (a) for an extension to the current consultation, (b) about Flooding Risk, (c) for a Student Housing Policy and (d) for imposition of Space Standards to Market Housing. FoBRA's lead experts for Flooding (Ian Herve) and Universities (Chris Beezley) also spoke. See "Papers" tab.
FoBRA Chairman's wrote in the Chronicle 23rd Dec 15 about the impending student accommodation time-bomb predicted in the Council's Placemaking Plan, and the lack of any proposals to address it. See "Papers" tab for the letter.
The Cabinet met on 2 Dec 15 to approve the consultation version of the Placemaking Plan. See "Papers" tab for the text of the FoBRA Chairman's speech, and also that of FoBRA's Universities' lead, Chris Beezley.
FoBRA has supported the Council's consultation on a Park and Ride site to the east of Bath, and has asked all its members to do likewise. FoBRA has also issued a press release jointly with the Bath Chamber of Commerce; and has sent a letter to both the Chronicle and all Councillors. The FoBRA Chairman spoke at the 12 Nov 15 Council meeting on this subject; and wrote to all FoBRA members on 26 Nov 15, asking them to contact their Councillors about it See "Papers" tab for the texts of all these.
FoBRA letters appeared in the Chronicle: on 23rd July about Transport Strategy; on 30th July about the Bath City Forum; on 27th Aug about City Centre Street Parking; and on 10th Sept about Transport and Governance. See "Papers" on this website.
The Bath City Conference took place on 10th July. A report on it was made to the Committee on 30th July.
New data on air pollution has been released by B&NES, covering the period up to the end of 2014, show that nitrogen dioxide pollution levels remain well above the legal limit along the main road network and in the city centre. Air pollution above the limit is harmful to health. In some places pollution is 50% over the legal limit. Air pollution in Bath has not reduced over 10 years or more. - posted 2 June 15