Chairman's Report

Chairman's Report 9 May 19

Bath City Forum (BCF):

The most recent BCF was held on 28th Jan, about which I reported at the last Committee. Because of Electoral Purdah, the next is not until 5th June, and even this date is provisional.

National Organization of Residents' Associations (NORA):

Further to my 14th March report, following the STAA meeting, discussions with the Chief Planner and his staff continued on 16th April about possible compulsory registration of 'Airbnb style' properties in England & Wales (as is the practice in many other countries), a limit to the number of nights per year they can be let, and even introduction of the type of controls that apply to Houses in Multiple Occupation. Also discussed were: Housing delivery test, the high proportion of students in some university cities & towns, Double Appeals, Neighbourhood plans, Planning Enforcement, and the Government's 'Building Better, Building Beautiful Homes' initiative.

The NORA AGM takes place on 2nd May, so I shall be able to report on it at the Committee on 9th May. A subject to be tabled at the AGM is the need to expand NORA's membership, to match the increasing interest and recognition by Government. One useful device might be to propose that FoBRA members be encouraged to apply for Associate membership of NORA, at a greatly reduced annual fee. In this way NORA's membership numbers would be boosted, and Associates would receive all NORA's literature, while FoBRA would continue to represent them on NORA's Executive – worth consideration, I think!

Police Independent Advisory Group (IAG):

The most recent Police IAG met on 27th March, when the following were discussed: plans for the new customer-facing police station; addition of student representatives to the IAG; youth offending; and the crime statistics (which are reducing in Bath).

Joining FoBRA:

Following the recent Executive meeting, we are reviewing the information on our website about joining FoBRA, to make it more complete (and welcoming). If anyone has any suggestions please tell me.

Hustings:

In recognition of FoBRA's impartiality, I was asked to chair a Ward Hustings in Lansdown on 14th April.

Climate & Environment Hustings, BRLSI, 24th April: Kirstie circulated details of this. I have agreed to attend part of it: I shall report.

Empty Shops Initiative:

The well-known Bath developer, Trevor Osborne, has expressed concern about all the empty shops and has proposed a working party to do something about it. I have agreed to take part, but have no details yet.

Bath Abbey Footprint Project - Update 24th June:

The next Footprint update will be on Monday 24th June at 1300 in the Abbey. If you have any questions, ask Cath Foxwell, Bath Abbey's Development Manager, at cfoxwell@bathabbey.org or 01225 303314.

Bath Preservation Trust:

BPT has a new exhibition at 1 Royal Crescent called 'Image Control: The Power of Perception Then and Now - Understanding the Georgian selfie'.

Hope House:

Everyone must be aware of the tall crane on the Hope House site, Lansdown Road. By the time you read this we are told it will have been removed: evidence of progress on this very long lasting development. The builders tell me they will be clear of the site by the end of July, but don't hold your breath!

Robin Kerr, 22nd Apr 19

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