Nick and I held another of our routine meetings with the Leader of the Council and three of his Cabinet colleagues on 24th Apr 18. After reviewing the actions from the previous one in November, we discussed the following:
Bath's Transport Problems: Govt Air Quality directive & Clean Air Zone announcement: MP's conference 9th June: Need to switch from discussion to action.
Parking: Adjustments to proposed policy: Resident parking in Lower Lansdown: City centre visitor permits for hotels, etc.
Coaches: Need for substantial revision of proposed Strategy.
Planning: "Party Houses": Affordable homes – desperate need: Empty homes – FoBRA's public support: Foxhill Estate – Judicial review: Bath Cricket Club application approval; BPT call-in: Development Management Committee – planning training: Dominus Group application for hotel on Bath College Site: Christmas market 2018 – Milsom Street
Student Housing: Need for Student Housing Policy: Student Council Tax Compensation: Error in HMO Art 4 Direction SPD: UoB Masterplan. Need for both universities to house more of their students on campus: PBSAs, including Chivers House application.
Upstream flooding risk
Destination Management Plan
If anyone would like me to expand on these at the Committee, please ask.
Bath City Forum (BCF)
The most recent BCF was held on 27th March, but I was unable to attend. It included presentations on CIL and CEF funding decisions; on the Rec Ground Stadium; and on Governance Options for Bath.
The next BCF will take place the day after the Committee meeting, on 15th May, when the main subject will be Bath's Clean Air Plan.
Police Independent Advisory Group (IAG)
I attended the IAG on 25th Apr 18, where I raised the recent 'crime surge' in the Circus area (and whether the removal of a visible Police Station in Bath had any connection with it). Ch Insp Steve Kendall, the Area Commander, thought not, showing the Group comparative statistics from the rest of the country. He added that, while the kind of Police Station which used to exist in Manvers Street would not be recreated, it was hoped to provide a more visible 'front office' for the police in concert with the Council's proposed move of its One Stop Shop.
Double Glazing Allowed?
It is rumoured that Historic England is considering relaxing its opposition to double glazing in sash windows of Grade 2 Georgian properties, subject to certain conditions (probably where loss of historic material is not an issue; and where slimline panes are used). I have spoken to BPT about this and am consulting Conservation Officers.
The FoBRA Executive met on 16th April 18 and discussed: Committee agendas, reports, minutes and venues; General Data Protection Regulations; nominations for office; subject leads; campaigning (transport, security; housing, planning, street trading policy); recruiting and city coverage; and the summer party.
Choice of UoB Vice Chancellor
Nick and I met Richard Brooks, Head of HR at the University of Bath, on 27th Apr 18 to discuss why FoBRA was not amongst the consultees to help in defining the five criteria for choice of their next Vice Chancellor, in view of the tension which exists between the university and residents in the city over student housing. After discussing the issues, it was agreed that FoBRA would provide some words for inclusion.
The Funding Bulletin
B&NES issues a Funding Bulletin periodically. The latest can be found at https://mailchi.mp/1ce924ec8d9c/may-funding-bulletin-1617773?e=ed80d3f805 . This gives news and suggestions about grants for worthy causes (in addition to CEF and CIL). I shall try to circulate the link whenever I receive one.
Robin Kerr, draft 1, 8th May 18