Moorland Road Library

We are aware that there are rumours on social media that there are plans to close the Moorland Road Library. This is not true, there are no current plans to close the library.

What is true is that the Conservative run Council intend to make substantial cuts to library funding across Bath and North East Somerset over the next three years, so the Moorland Road Library cannot be assumed to be “safe” in its current form in the long term. Please see page 12 (Modern Libraries Review) of this document:

Yesterday we spoke with Martin Veal, the Councillor responsible for library services and a senior council officer who both confirmed that there are no current plans to close the Moorland Road Library.

Shaun and Will are both committed to retaining a community library on Moorland Road and we will work constructively with the Council and the community to achieve that.

Councillors slam HMO decision-making

Will Sandry has criticised a Council planning decision which will see yet another HMO (House in Multiple Occupation) conversion in Oldfield, despite the controls introduced by the Lib Dems and despite the already high concentration of HMOs in the area. Furthermore, a request by Councillor Sandry for the decision to be debated and decided at a public meeting was refused, despite the application attracting over 15 public objections.

Councillor Sandry, who is the Lib Dem spokesperson on Homes and Planning, said:
“I am furious that, despite their fine words about ‘better managing the growth of HMOs’ across the city, the Conservatives are still happy to let applications through without any public consideration.”

“The Lib Dems introduced controls on HMOs and additional licensing requirements in 2013. This application just scraped through the relevant tests due to a quirk of local geography – it is on the edge of an area with a completely different character – however the decision should have been taken by the planning committee, due to the public interest.”

Councillor Shaun Stephenson-McGall added:
“The Conservatives are letting Bath residents down by failing to keep the Council’s HMO policy up to date. A review was announced in March of this year but is only now starting to get going. The current rules are being outpaced and are in dire need of strengthening and clarification. Local residents want the Council to protect neighbourhood characteristics and remaining family homes.”

Three years ago an ‘Article 4 direction’ was introduced which means in certain areas planning permission is required to convert a family home in to one occupied by multiple people who are not a family. The rules come with a two stage test relating to the percentage of HMOs within a 50 metre and 100 metre radius of the property in question. In this particular case the Stage 1 test was failed, the Stage 2 test was only passed as a result of ‘dilution’ by adjacent properties in streets without the same Neighbourhood characteristics as the site (and most of the rest of the northern part of Oldfield Ward).

Family Playtime at the Sandpits

The Council’s programme of free family play activities comes to the Sandpits Play area on Thursday 23 July between 2 and 4 pm

The session will involve one or two simple play activities; this may include mud painting, kite making, traditional games, mini-beast hunts, family forest school, bat walks and more.

The sessions will be led by a play officer from the Council’s Parks Department, with support from local play workers. People can drop in at any time; there is no need to book.

Play sessions are being organised by the Council’s parks team and will also run from 2 – 4pm at other locations in Bath on the following dates:

Wednesday 22
Royal Victoria Park Play Area, Bath, BA1 2LZ

Thursday 23
Sandpits Play Area, Bath, BA2 1A


Wednesday 19
Carrs Wood, BA2 1RZ

Tuesday 25
Archery Field, Weston, Bath, BA1 2XD

Things might get messy, or even wet, so please wear appropriate clothes. All children need to be accompanied by an adult and all accompanying adults are invited to join in the family play.

Thank You

Shaun McGall and Will Sandry have been elected to represent the residents of Oldfield Ward until May 2019.

Cllr Will Sandry said: “I’m so very pleased to have been re-elected and  I thank those who had confidence in me. I will continue to do my very best for our community”.

Cllr Shaun McGall said: “It’s a great honour to serve the residents and businesses of our community again; thank you for your trust in us both to stand up for the communities within the Ward”.

Ten pin bowling and climbing wall plan for Bath


Cllr Will Sandry and Cllr David Dixon with Lib Dem Parliamentary Candidate Steve Bradley
Photo by Paul Gillis –

The forthcoming revamp of the Bath sports and leisure centre will add ten pin bowling and climbing to the activities on offer at the popular city centre venue.

B&NES’ Lib Dem-run Council is currently reviewing two final bids for a £15m+ investment into leisure facilities across the area. The bowling and climbing plan are included in both offers.

Councillor David Dixon (Lib Dem, Oldfield) has been the Cabinet member responsible for brokering this new deal. He commented:

“I am delighted that we are now just weeks away from announcing the preferred bidder who will take over the running of our local leisure facilities and invest in improving them. We all know just how tired Bath Sports and Leisure Centre is looking. The Liberal Democrats have worked hard to bring forward concrete proposals and we are now on the cusp of signing a deal.”

“The Liberal Democrats took control of B&NES Council in 2011. At that point, the future of leisure in the area was looking bleak. The outgoing Conservative administration left a legacy of poor contract management, no strategy and no funding.

“The Lib Dems have already delivered a completely revamped Odd Down Sports Ground with 3G pitches, a new pavilion and cycle circuit. We signed off a new and improved strategy for leisure last year and started the search for a new operations partner.”

City-centre Councillor Manda Rigby (Lib Dem, Abbey) added:

“Our strategy for leisure activities in Bath is ambitious and fully funded with no extra expense to the tax payer. It will see ten pin bowling and a climbing wall included in the contract for Bath Sports and Leisure Centre alongside heavy investment in the changing facilities and a new learner pool.

“Keynsham will get a brand new leisure centre and we will secure the future of Culverhay as a much-loved sports centre to the south of the city. I am delighted with the hard work that has been put in by Council Officers over the past years who have shared our vision to make this a reality”

Councillor Katie Hall (Lib Dem, Lyncombe) said:

“Bowling and climbing are great activities which have a lot of appeal for families and young people. These will be a fantastic addition to the wide range of leisure activities already on offer locally.

“The fact that there will not be a bar associated with the bowling alley is particularly welcome and will help create health-focussed, family-friendly atmosphere. “

Steve Bradley, Liberal Democrat candidate to become MP for Bath, said:

“Local residents have a clear choice on May 7th between a forward-thinking and ambitious Liberal Democrat-run Council, which will deliver concrete improvements and a hesitant Tory-run Council that will steer clear of the hard-to-do issues.”

The preferred final bidder will be announced within weeks.

· Two bidders remain; both are charitable trusts with significant leisure experience, who are committed to working with the Council to deliver its objectives of raising levels of physical activity and tacking health inequalities as set out in the Fit for Life strategy.

· The contract will deliver in excess of £15 million of investment to modernise and upgrade its leisure centres

· It will provide a major refurbishment of Bath Sports and Leisure Centre which will include new family-focused activities such as 10 pin bowling, a climbing wall, enhanced soft play as well as complete refurbishment of the changing facilities, fitness suite and studio space.

· There will also be improvements to Culverhay Leisure Centre and a potential new build leisure facility in Keynsham to include a swimming pool, learner pool, fitness suite and studio space

· The new contract will also cover Chew Valley Leisure Centre, Odd Down Playing Fields and the Pavilion.

Why Licence HMO’s?

Oldfield Rooftops

One of the achievements of the Liberal Democrats on B&NES Council has been to introduce licensing for small (3-4 bedroom) Homes in Multiple Occupation (HMOs). This was not about controlling absolute HMO numbers, but rather improving standards. In this regard licensing has been very successful as demonstrated by facts below:

· Approx. 1,000 HMOs brought into licensing scheme;
· Over 80% of inspected properties did not meet all the licencing standards with almost a third not even meeting minimum legal standards;
· Therefore this scheme will have improved the improved the accommodation of over 3,000 residents.

Cllr Will Sandry said: “Students and young professionals are particularly vulnerable to being taken advantage of by unscrupulous landlords. I’m delighted that this scheme has improved the quality of homes for thousands of residents in my community. “

43 Upper Oldfield Park

43 UOPThe Council’s planning committee have refused permission for this development. This is a victory for local residents and indeed for your local Liberal Democrat Councillors who have worked very hard to secure this result.

Cllr David Dixon said,

“This is Bath, a conservation area and World Heritage Site. Every development must enhance this and should not simply make do. Here is an application to support a building which is totally out of character to its surroundings, a building that stands out as a blot on the landscape across the South of Bath, a building that towers it’s neighbours.”

He then gave three very good reasons that the committee could use to refuse the development and thy did indeed use one of those reasons. Cllr Dixon continued,

The proposed development, by reason of its inappropriate design, incorporating a predominance of flat roofs, would be incongruous in this prominent location and out of character within its context. This would be harmful to the character and appearance of this part of the Conservation Area. That is from the 2007 reason for refusal.

You can also read Cllr Will Sandry’s personal objection to the application here: WS Objection 43UOP


Next Bike comes to Moorland Road

next bike jpg

Residents may have noticed that some of the the bicycle parking on Moorland Road has been moved to other locations on the street. This is so a hire station for the popular Next Bike hire scheme can be installed.

Cllr Will Sandry said: “David and I have been pressing for the Next Bike scheme to be brought to a location near Moorland Road and Oldfield Park Station. I’m really pleased that this has been possible because the Next Bike scheme is being expand this year.”

Shaun McGall added: “We are keen to get more visitors to Moorland Road. That is why the Next Bike station is important for Moorland Road”