Special Meeting with our MP
Wera Hobhouse MP addressed a meeting of over 50 FoBRA members in Widcombe Junior School on 12th Feb 18, and answered questions on: Transport, Pollution & Congestion; Social Housing; the Care Sector; Universities & Student Housing Policy; rail travel reliability & cost; and Party Houses. Minutes are posted under "Meeting Minutes", on our website.
National Organization of Residents' Associations (NORA)
The NORA AGM took place in London on 1st March. The NORA Chairman's Report is interesting: you can find it at Annex A. Post AGM discussion centred around Data Handling, HMO Landlords, Air pollution and the Housing White Paper proposals.
Some of you may be aware that a new (and much more complicated) Data Protection Act comes into force on 25th May. All Residents' Associations (including FoBRA) are concerned about it and wonder to what extent it is applicable to them. The National Organization (NORA), on whose Committee I serve, discussed this at its AGM (see above). Two documents were generated, which give an indication of the likely needs (see Annex B). I shall be holding more detailed talks about this on 19th March, and shall report under Item 12 on the Agenda.
Our FoBRA website has been refreshed and made tablet/mobile friendly. Please tell me what you think, and any problems you see.
There you will also find FoBRA news stories, since my last report, on Parking Policy, Student Accommodation, Transport & Pollution, Empty Homes and two of our members (see below).
Ann Love and Polly Riddle
The annual awards by the Chairman of the Council were announced on 8th Feb. FoBRA proposed Ann Love (CARA member) and Polly Riddle (Cavendish Road Society member) for the 'Good Neighbour' category, in view of their sterling work cleaning up their streets, and they won! See the full story on our website.
Country Living Show
In my report for the January Committee, I wrote about progress by the magazine Country Living to stage a show in the centre of the city just prior to the Bath Festival. I regret to write that, shortly afterwards, it was cancelled. This is a great pity, not least because it would have included the temporary closure of Milsom Street to traffic – a useful experiment towards possible fulfilment of the Bath Transport Strategy.
The Funding Bulletin
B&NES issues a Funding Bulletin periodically. The latest can be found at https://mailchi.mp/db41ab5044a3/february-funding-bulletin-1581941 . This gives news and suggestions about grants for worthy causes (in addition to CEF and CIL). I shall try to circulate the link whenever I receive one.
Most of you will have heard of the Minerva Owl Project. Those who haven't may wish to visit its website at www.littleowlproject.uk .
"Fix My Street"
You may be interested in a website "Fix My Street" which allows residents to report, view, or discuss local problems, including graffiti, fly tipping, broken paving slabs, or street lighting and presumably road repairs: visit https://www.fixmystreet.com/ .
Bath Welcomes Refugees (BWR)
In my 20th July Report I wrote about the work of Ian Herve (previously Henrietta and now PERA) and his wife, Alice, for BWR. BWR now urgently needs rentable accommodation for these guests in our city. See Annex C for details.
I wrote in my 20th Sept 16 Report about the Bath Dementia Action Alliance (BDAA). Since then, BDAA has created Dementia Friends, whereby those involved commit to understanding the needs of people living with dementia (and their carers) so that they are made welcome and can join in activities fully. It is a national initiative to change the way people think, act and talk about dementia. Many Bath organizations are members of one or the other; and Dementia Friends have people in Bath who will talk to local groups, eg residents' associations, about it. The link is: www.dementiafriends.org.uk/
Following the note in my last Report, plans are afoot to hold this year's Summer Party at beautiful Crowe Hall, thanks to the help of the Macaulay Prospect Road Association, and the owners, David and Fiona Lees.
Robin Kerr, 17th Mar 18