Meeting with Council Leader
Nick and I held our second meeting with Cllr Tim Warren, the Council Leader, and his Deputy, Cllr Patrick Anketell-Jones, on 4th Sept. The following subjects were covered: Air Pollution and creation of a city centre Low Emission Zone, the link between pollution, traffic, and parking, Transport Strategy implementation plan, A36-46 link, Eastern P&R consultation, Parking in the city centre and visitor parking permits (See FoBRA letter published in Chronicle 27th Aug (attached), and one by Mark O'Sullivan on 3rd Sept.), "Last Mile Logistics" (Visit http://www.lamiloproject.eu), Quality Bus contracts and franchising, Upstream Flooding and the recent PHE Dev & Scrutiny Panel, Gulls as pests, Planning procedures for the Enterprise Zone, Way ahead for the Bath City Forum (See FoBRA letter published in Chronicle 30th July and attached to the previous Chairman's Report), and new FoBRA members.
Eastern Park and Ride Site Consultation
The Council has made its long-heralded proposals for an Eastern Park and Ride site (See Chronicle article 27th Aug). The consultation about it will run until early October, but full details will not be available until this starts on 7th Sept, so our meeting on 10th Sept will be FoBRA's only chance to discuss it in full Committee. Patrick Rotheram, our Pollution and Transport Lead, has been studying it and will speak about it at the meeting. Attached you will find a note prepared by him. The Council will be holding drop-in sessions in Bathampton Village Hall on 19th Sept (1400-1800) and in the Guildhall on 22nd Sept (1600-2000).
Don't forget the following other consultations:
1. Bath Magistrates' Courts: Visit http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/consultations/consultation-proposals-close-bath-magistrates-court-and-family-court/
2. Canal towpath resurfacing: See Secretary's email dated 12th Aug 15
National Organization of Residents' Associations (NORA)
1. DCLG: I shall have been at NORA's annual discussion with the senior planning staff at the Dept of Communities and Local Govt on 10th Sept, and shall report.
2. Chairman: NORA is still looking for a new Chairman. It has advertised in a number of publications, including "Planner" (journal of the RTPI).
Rugby at the Rec
Diligent readers of the Chron will have seen the large article on 6th Aug about the future of the Rec. We await the Rec Trust's interpretation of the Appeal judgement which has been handed down.
Nick and I will be meeting Victor da Cunha, Chief Executive of CURO, on 7th Sept, and will report.
I shall be attending the launch of "Aqueye" on 8th Sept, billed as "an exciting new, world-first tourism project, designed in Bath especially for the World Heritage city", and I shall report.
Preserving our History
The Lansdown Crescent Association (LCA) has provided the following cautionary tale which shows the value of alert residents. There is a grass terrace beside Beckford's Embattled Gateway (listed grade 2) on which the owner has ambitions of building a house. However, access is difficult and would involve widening the door in a wall in the Mews through which Beckford walked when going to his Tower (listed grade 1). To give these historic structures greater protection, the Bath Preservation Trust recently asked Historic England to upgrade classification of the Gate as well as to list these adjoining walls. On 2nd Sept, in advance of this protection being implemented, the owner instructed builders to demolish part of the wall in the Mews to create a vehicle-sized opening. Thanks to neighbours' vigilance and the actions of the LCA and the Bath Preservation Trust, Council Enforcement Officers attended and ordered this work to cease, but not before significant damage had been done.
Payment of FoBRA subscriptions has been due since the AGM last May, and some are now overdue, according to the Constitution. Please send these to the Treasurer immediately, as non-payment is unfair both to the Federation and to all those loyal members which have already done so.
Robin Kerr, final, 5th Sept 15
Bath City Centre Parking Charges - letter to the Chronicle
Your front page story on 6th August predicted a Council rethink about "expensive city centre parking fees" as these were said to be leading to a loss of revenue and as some shopkeepers felt they were deterring customers. The accompanying picture showed four pay-and-display spaces in Laura Place – two full and two empty. An alternative interpretation is just as likely – that this is evidence of a parking policy which IS working, because it is beginning to encourage visitors to park elsewhere than on the city centre streets.
I would remind you that Bath's Transport Strategy, approved by the Council on 13th Nov 2014, with cross-party agreement, seeks to "enhance [Bath's] unique status by adopting measures that promote sustainable transport and reduce the intrusion of vehicles, particularly in the historic core. This will enable more economic activity and growth, while enhancing its special character and environment and improving the quality of life for local people." The new Conservative administration has recently confirmed its support for this vision, which will not be achieved by encouraging visitors to drive around the city streets looking for empty places in which to park. On the contrary, this creates moving traffic, leading to more congestion and air pollution, and I hardly need to remind you that Bath is, reputedly, one of the most polluted cities in the country, with 92% of this caused by traffic. Moreover, hunger for parking fees to feed Council revenue must not be allowed to sway the way the vision is achieved.
Robin Kerr, Chairman FoBRA
14th Aug 15 – final
Published in Chronicle 27th Aug 15