Chairman's Report for FoBRA Committee 12th Nov 15
Nick and I met the authors of B&NES' Placemaking Plan, Richard Daone and Stephen George, on 7th Oct. Its programme is: to Cabinet by 23rd Nov, and its endorsement 2nd Dec; 6 weeks of public consultation (Comments submitted would be sent to the Govt Inspector, and not necessarily incorporated in the Plan, which is why our October meeting was timely and effective. A chance to see the draft before it goes to Cabinet might arise.); approval by the Council in the New Year; examination in public by a Govt Inspector in June 16; Inspector's report in Sept 16; and adoption in Dec 16. We reiterated the concerns FoBRA had in commenting on the "Options" version of the Plan in January: (a) Bath to be treated as a "Place" (For the avoidance of doubt, we later sent the authors the precise changes FoBRA had proposed.); (b) Housing Space Standards; (c) Student Housing Policy; (d) Correlation with Transport Strategy; and (e) brownfield before greenfield (They replied that this is not currently permitted, by law, but, nevertheless, B&NES' brownfield record is quite good.).
Eastern Park and Ride Site Consultation
You will be well aware of the spirited debate over the Council's proposals for an Eastern Park and Ride site. On our website can be read the response which FoBRA made to the Council's consultation, a press release made jointly with Bath Chamber of Commerce (an edited version of which appeared in the Chronicle dated 5th Nov), and a letter sent to the Chronicle (but not so far published) and to all Councillors. The Council issued the results of the consultation in a press release on 4th Nov, the text of which is at Annex A. A full Council will be debating this on 12th Nov at which I am booked to speak. I shall then come to our Committee to report.
Bath City Forum
The first meeting of the Bath City Forum was held on 13th Oct (see Annex B for Council press release). As you know, I have applied to be a co-optee: I recently received a letter from the Chairman stating that my application is being considered, and that the full members aim to have decided who will be chosen in time for the second meeting on 20th Jan 16.
Council Budget Fair
The annual budget process has started and the Council will be holding its usual Budget Fairs as shown below. I shall be attending the one in the Guildhall on 26th Nov:
Bathavon Area Forum - 19th November 6-7.30pm - The Sixth Form Building, St Gregory's Secondary School, Combe Hay Lane, Bath BA2 8PA
Chew Valley Area Forum - 23rd November 6-7.30pm – The Library, Chew Valley Secondary School, Chew Lane, Chew Magna, Bristol, BS40 8QB.
Keynsham Area Forum - 24th November 6-7.30pm - The Community Space, Market Walk, Keynsham, Bristol, BS31 1FS
Bath City Forum - 26th November 6-7.30pm - The Banqueting Room, The Guildhall, High Street, Bath BA1 5AW
Somer Valley Area Forum - 30th November 6-7.30pm - The Conygre Hall, North Rd, Timsbury, Bath BA2 0JQ
Following each meeting (at 8pm) there will be additional presentations on the West of England Joint Spatial Strategy and the B&NES Placemaking Plan (Green Spaces).
Local Flood Risk Management Strategy (LFRMS)
FoBRA responded to the Council's LFRMS consultation, as did Ian Herve on behalf of Henrietta Park RA. Ian recommends that other members nominate flooding representatives, and not just those near the river, as it is concerned with surface water from all sources.
Referendum on B&NES Mayor
We have been briefed on this subject before. The Council announced on 7th Sept that a referendum to decide whether B&NES should be led by an Executive Mayor will be held early in 2016, a petition with enough signatures having been presented. Discussions have started about arranging a public debate to discuss the issues.
Mr Sean Moore, of Kelston View, has questioned all Bath Councillors about the poor state of cleanliness of the city's roads and pavements (litter and weeds). I have seen a number of the replies, and it is clear that the situation varies. In some areas they employ Community Payback people to help with this, and in others the residents (perhaps through the RA?) organize weed spraying and litter picking, to augment the efforts of the Council cleansers.
Grass Roots Campaigning
On 9th Oct I was contacted by the inveterate campaigner, Bryn Jones, about starting a "Way Forward Forum", with a long agenda of subjects to discuss at a conference on 7th Nov. Having talked with the other members of the Executive, we decided to pass on this one, but I can give details of the Forum to anyone interested.
Feed Me and Win
The Council is trying to encourage us to use our lockable food bins for recycling, and so has been randomly awarding a £50 voucher every week from last July to residents who do. This will continue until next March. More information at www.feedmeandwin.co.uk
Robin Kerr, 6th Nov 15