FoBRA Meeting 30th Jan 14 - Summary of Minutes:
(Conservative Parliamentary candidate): Ben was educated at Cambridge Uni and started his politics as a Councillor in NE Essex, having been drawn into it through the closure of a special needs school. He then became National Chair of the Conservatives' youth wing, and moved to Bath when he heard that the seat was up for grabs. He lives in Upper Bristol Road and works in health care. Questions included:
Views on eastern P&R and A36/46 link – Agreed, but transport solutions must be cohesive.
London Road air pollution and need for bike lane – Agreed. He's a Public Transport champion. Any bike lane must be separated from other traffic.
Central Govt does not work well with Local – He understands this. He is a pragmatist and wants to see more devolved locally.
Student Housing Policy:
FoBRA has been working with the Student Unions, B&NES' officer and University officials to develop regulation of the large student housing blocks which are beginning to appear or be planned in Bath (a trend across the country) as they could be out of scale with ordinary homes and could occupy sites for new job creation. Good progress has been made, using examples from Loughborough, Leeds and Leicester.
Bath Transport Plan:
FoBRA attends Transport Commission meetings: Mott Macdonald is developing a Transport Vision for Bath which could then become a Plan.
Examination in Public will recommence on 25th March, when the Green Belt incursions will be considered. FoBRA has asked to speak.
This included items on the Police and Crime Commissioner's visit; a Conference on shaping our Economic Future; a meeting with the Council Leader, Paul Crossley; and the next Bath City Conference (Fair), on 30th April.
The Planning Brief included items on Bath Rugby's proposals; the Tesco Appeal; Fracking; the Saw Close casino; and the Bath Quays Waterside flood mitigation project.
Winter Reception 14th Jan:
This annual event has become a fixture in Bath's January calendar. It was again a success, with 81 attending in the Victoria Art Gallery despite a rotten night.
This will take place on 1st May. Chairman and Vice Chair are standing down so this election is important. Last day for nominations is 20th March.