Robin Kerr and I attended a B&NES consultation event on 1 August, which focused on the flood protection and economic development aspects of these development sites (roughly Avon Street area on north bank and Waterfront House/Camden Mill on the south). More consultation promised (but not yet delivered) for September. There is a useful technical note on flood risk measures at:
Robin, Patrick Rotheram and I met Caroline Roberts, the new Cabinet member for transport, on 6 August. We impressed upon her the need for an agreed strategy, as expounded by Peter Hendy, based on a vision for the city, and for sensible management of air pollution, public transport, parking, and HGVs.
Along with Sally Rothwell and Joan Rotheram I attended the Planning, Environment & Transport Policy Development & Scrutiny Panel on 10 September, which reviewed the Council's brief for consultants on the transport strategy, laying out elements for them of a vision for them on what stakeholders in Bath wanted the city to be like, and suggesting that we did not need more time-wasting reviews on an Eastern Park & Ride. This was quite well received, and Peter Dawson, Group Manager Transport & Planning Policy, wrote afterwards to say he would pass the points to the appointed consultant, Mott MacDonald.
The panel also reviewed the draft parking strategy, where Sally argued strongly for a better deal on residents' parking in the north central zone, with which they appeared to sympathise. I supported this, pointing out that 10,000 people live in the central two wards of Bath, and argued for later opening and better security at the Park & Rides.
I joined in the meeting of the Transport Commission for Bath on 26 September. This took the form of a presentation by the consultants, Mott MacDonald, who have been appointed to prepare the transport strategy. They have done transport work in Bath before and appear to have a very good grasp of the city's problems. I reiterated our concerns, that the strategy should not just deal with future growth in traffic, but address the present congestion and pollution, and that there ought to be an agreed vision for what the strategy is seeking to achieve. I offered also to use our influence to encourage the politicians to give cross-party support.
I met John Crowther, Service Manager for Neighbourhood Services, on 23 August and argued for stronger measures against seagulls, and for some enforcement against people who leave reinforced waste sacks hanging on railings all week. He told me that a conference is being organised on seagulls, and has asked colleagues to deal with the waste sacks.
I was invited to a meeting on 4 September, along with around 30 other stakeholders including Ian Perkins and Emma Weskin. I asked about resources for Bath – apparently B&NES gets 20% of the total for Avon and Somerset – and how the police felt about the new powers for a Early Morning Restriction Order – the Chief seemed to think it might help to reduce overstretch in the 03.00 am onwards period.
Robin and I attended this group on 11 September, and joined in a vigorous discussion about the purpose and arrangements for the event. We agreed to hold a brainstorm with key stakeholders to clarify these before any further event is held.
Following the work of the Communications Subgroup, we have made changes to the homepage and structure of the website. I hope these can go live before the 3 October meeting.
Henry Brown, 29 September