FOBRA COMMITTEE, 30 JANUARY 2014: CHAIRMAN'S REPORT
Forum with Police & Crime Commissioner and Chief Constable, 27 November
I attended this public forum led by Sue Mountstevens, Nick Gargan and Supt Geoff Spicer. It was well attended by residents‟ groups and other local people. Concerns raised included the future of Manvers St police station; future of Neighbourhood Watch; need to keep Bath City Centre team intact. Provision of new local access points; problems with the 101 number; effective rehabilitation of offenders; priority for traffic enforcement; improving respect for the police; detention under the Mental Health Act; creating a Bath district; irresponsible cyclists. The powers that be appeared to listen well to most of this, and I hope they will repeat the event from time to time.
Conference on Shaping our Economic Future, 5 December
The Council organised this event to discuss the development of the Enterprise Area (EA) in Bath.
Introductory presentations were made by Colin Skellett (Local Enterprise Partnership), Cllr Paul Crossley, Jim Plunkett-Cole (progress against economic strategy targets), Geoff Rich (masterplanning for the EA) and Matt Atkinson (City of Bath College and apprenticeships). In the discussion, some scepticism was expressed about the viability of the EA, as the most challenging uses were being proposed for the most expensive land. I emphasised the need for sustainable transport and infrastructure. It was argued that the EA needs to link into neighbouring areas, such as Twerton and Foxhill; that there should be more investment in cultural facilities and a more welcoming approach towards visitors. This was an interesting morning, but I felt it provided far more questions than answers. It wasn‟t clear what is supposed to happen next.
Meeting with Cllr Paul Crossley, 5 January
Patrick Rotheram and I went to see the Council Leader to press for a more comprehensive transport plan than seemed to be emerging from the work of the Council‟s consultants, Mott MacDonald. Patrick will update the Committee separately.
Bath City Conference SG, 15 January
The latest meeting of the steering group, after a break in recognition of the death of one its members, Angela Ladd of Small Business Focus, at last reached the conclusion that there is no essential connection between the "fair" aspect of this event, with exhibitors manning stalls, and the "conference" element, comprised of discussion about local issues. This is a sensible development. The next "fair" will take place, on a more modest basis at the Guildhall, on 30 April. The "conference" might hold up to 4 sessions a year, but details have yet to be worked out.
NORA AGM, 3 April
The National Organisation of Residents Associations is holding its AGM at the Friends House in Euston on Thursday, 3 April from 11.00 am to 4.00 pm. The guest speaker is Roberta Blackman-Woods, Shadow Minister for Communities and Local Government. Neither Robin nor I can attend. If anyone else is interested, please contact me.
Henry Brown, 24 January