FOBRA COMMITTEE, 20.03.2014: CHAIRMAN'S REPORT
Bath City Conference – Your Bath
Robin Kerr and I attended meetings of the Steering Group of the Bath City Conference (now renamed Your Bath) on 31 January and 19 February. In preparation for the latter I convened an ad hoc group of residents' associations on 17 February to consider the format for the debate element of the conference and tabled the attached note at the steering group, which was agreed.
Enterprise Area masterplan
Robin and I met Tim Hewitt, the economic development manager responsible for the Enterprise Area, on 11 February, and urged the Council to continue to involve residents in the masterplanning and to ensure that sustainable transport was given higher priority throughout the EA zone.
Julie Girling MEP
Several associations attended the meeting on 15 February with Julie Girling, South West MEP, proposed by Ben Howlett, the Conservative candidate, when he attended FoBRA in January. Patrick Rotheram outlined the traffic and pollution problems in Bath, and she told us she was expecting to be rapporteur for new EU legislation on air pollution, which would put her in a position of influence. Ben Howlett said he was encouraging the Conservative group in B&NES to support a transport plan for Bath. We agreed to keep in touch. [Although she downplayed the prospect of the EU taking legal action against the UK for non-enforcement of air pollution limits, the Commission has subsequently announced such action.]
Chief Inspector Norman Pascal
Robin and I met CI Pascal on 28 February; the other members of the executive were not available. He is the most senior police officer stationed permanently in Bath, after recently job-swapping with CI Simon Ellis. After explaining to him the network of residents' associations in Bath and the role of FoBRA, we pressed him on issues raised by members:
police resources in Bath (managers had been cut, but front-line policing was unaffected);
the future of Manvers Street (change inevitable, but not imminent. "Fire engine" policing would move to a site with better road connections);
enforcement of the law on public drunkenness (he agreed to raise with colleagues);
more regular enforcement against HGVs on the non-permitted A4 route (he will ask beat managers to look out for this, and asked us to supply registration numbers of offenders);
pavement cycling (there has been a crackdown, which will continue);
abuse of the yellow box junction at Paragon/Lansdown Road/Broad St junction (he will look into this);
transfer of enforcement responsibility for moving traffic offences from police to the local authority (he would prefer it to be made a shared responsibility).
Gerald Gouriet QC
NORA have passed on an email from the Clerk at Francis Taylor Building in the Temple, saying that Gerald Gouriet QC, who is one of the country's leading licensing silks is very happy to take on pro bono cases for residents associations and action groups who have problems over applications from licensed premises.
Henry Brown, 18 March 2014
YOUR BATH - DEBATES
FOBRA'S PROPOSAL FOR DEBATES
One topic per meeting selected from suggestions made by attendees at last meeting and through social network.
Topics must be important, local and topical. Background information, including motion for discussion, is well publicised in advance.
There must be an impartial chairman who is good at controlling public meetings.
Must take place in non-Council venue. Need a budget for meeting expenses.
Scene is set by first speaker proposing the motion, and second opposing it.
Most of the time is taken up by speakers from the floor. 3-minute time limit per speaker.
Chairman sums up a small handful, say 3-5, key points.
These are referred to responsible authorities and organisations for response/action.
Report is published through social network, as is action/response.
Henry Brown, 18 February 2014