Amy Williams – Open Bus Tour Celebration Wednesday 3rd March

To recognise and celebrate Amy William’s achievement of Olympic Gold, the BBC and The Bath Chronicle are organising an Open Bus Tour on Wednesday 3rd March. The planned route is as follows:

1pm – 1.30pm: Meet and greet at Hayesfield Upper School, Upper Oldfield Park.

1.30pm – 2.15pm: Tour of Bath: Lower Oldfield Park-Brougham Hayes-Pinesway -Midland Bridge Road-Charles Street-Chapel Row-Queen Square (entire loop)-Gay Street-George Street -Milsom Street -New Bond Street -Northgate Street -Bridge Street , Grand Parade- Orange Grove-High Street-Guildhall.

2.30pm: The Chairman of Council will be holding a small private reception for Amy and her immediate family in the Guildhall.

Proposed New Street Trading Pitch on Moorland Road

The Bus Station Florists have applied to the Council for a licence to run a stall on Moorland Road, outside the Nat West Bank, to sell fresh flowers. The stall could be open if permission is granted from 9.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. Monday to Saturday each week.

This is a street trading consent application (Ref: 10/00951/STTRAD) under the Local Government (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1982. This application is for a permanent pitch which may be renewed on a quarterly basis. We as your local Councillors have until the 10th March 2010 to comment. Please let us know your views as soon as possible.

B&NES Budget: Lib Dem comments

B&NES Council met tonight to discuss the budget for 2010/11. Liberal Democrat Councillors did not support the Council budget proposed by B&NES’ Conservative Cabinet. Leader of the Lib Dems Councillor Paul Crossley (Southdown) said:

The Liberal Democrats will not be supporting this budget. The budget process put in place by the Cabinet keeps Councillors out of the loop, ignores input from O&S and permits Cabinet members to drip feed information rather than being transparent and democratic. We are deeply concerned about the bottom-up approach to job cuts that the administration is taking and about the ‘extra’ funding announcements, which are merely surface dressing to distract from cuts.

Councillor David Dixon (Walcot) led for the Lib Dems on the budget paper, saying:

The Liberal Democrats see this as a budget which has asked services to make considerable cuts, cuts to frontline services while protecting our senior officers. It is a budget that offers very little new money for services, but only serves to move money about.

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Time Running Out for Two Tunnels Decision

The Council’s Cabinet member responsible for transport has been accused of putting the Two Tunnels shared path project at risk by delaying a decision on the Council’s support package, including £396,000 in capital funding.

Cllr Paul Crossley (Southdown), Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group, has written to the Cabinet member responsible for this decision to urge him to approve the funding. Cllr Crossley said:

This is an amazing project and it is right that the Council should support it. The Lib Dems want to see the tunnels brought back to life as a new cycle way into and out of the city. The delay in approving the Council package of involvement for the project is putting the whole scheme at risk. It’s time for the dithering to stop.

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Passenger number rise at Oldfield Park Station

The Progress Report (January 2010) from the Sevenside Community Rail Partnership reports that average passenger numbers on weekdays have risen from 841 in 2007 to 974 in 2009.

The Partnership was formed in the summer 2004 to identify and implement measures to encourage the use of local train routes in our area. The Partnership covers the area bounded by Gloucester, Bath / Freshford, W-M-S, Taunton and the Severn Estuary.

Our Council finally supports the partnership along with other local Councils, FGW, Business West and English Partnerships. This last year as seen the Government’s announcement of the planned electrification of the London – Bristol route by 2017, which should bring benefits to Oldfield Park station.

Last year artwork prepared by Oldfield Park Infant School was installed at Oldfield Park Station. Thanks to the hard work of June Player and the ‘On-board’ – the Oldfield Park station group – further landscaping was carried out. ‘On-board’ are always looking out for further members, so please to contact us to find out more details.

Get your bargain compost bins now

Local residents are being encouraged to make their daily lives even more sustainable by purchasing a bargain compost bin or water butt in special offers by the Council in partnership with manufacturers Straight Plc. Now is a great time of your to buy one in preparation for the Spring.

The compost bins are being sold even cheaper than last year – starting at a recession-busting £18.50 including delivery. Water butts that can save up to 5,000 litres of water for a garden every year are available for between £38 and £48 dependent on size.

Composting at home not only enables residents to feed their garden for free but also cuts down on the amount of waste going to landfill. By composting or collecting water local residents are helping tackle the causes and effects of climate change.
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Pines Way cycling scheme

Finally the Council has announced that is to install a new shared use path footway on the east side of the Pine Ways to enable cyclists to travel safely between Oldfield Park and the city centre. The proposal is for cyclists to link to the pelican crossing on the Lower Bristol Road on the east side of Pines Way and join a shared use path footway on the east side of Pines Way so cyclists do not have to travel around Pines Ways. This proposal has already been consulted upon and will be installed in the next few months.

Boost for Moorlands Junior School

Ofsted has reported that Moorlands Junior School is improving at a satisfactory rate. Inspectors visited the school before Christmas as part of a monitoring visit to see what progress it had made since last July.

The school has a new head teacher Damian Knollys, a new deputy head Sarah Biss and inspectors feel it is on the right track for making improvements. The latest Ofsted report said:

Teaching is increasingly more consistent. Almost all is at least satisfactory with some good lessons developing. The leadership team has set about improving the school steadily and systematically. They have successfully ensured that lessons are consistently appropriately planned and that the pupils are aware of the success criteria in each lesson. The school benefits from good support provided by the local authority which has worked closely with the outgoing leadership team to ensure that the first steps of progress have been solidly constructed, based mostly on the local authority plan of action. The work with the school improvement partner has also had a positive impact.

This is great news for out local community and we both thank the hard work of the pupils, teachers, management team and the governors of the school.

New powers over HMOs welcomed

Liberal Democrats in Bath are “over the moon” following the government’s announcement of new powers for Councils to control ‘Houses in Multiple Occupation’ (HMOs). Councillor Shaun McGall and Don Foster MP have been campaigning on this issue for 10 years.

Today’s announcement shows that the government has finally bowed to national public pressure and has given local Councils the much-needed powers to control the spread of high concentrations of shared rented homes. This will allow Councils, such as ours, to tackle pockets of unsafe and substandard accommodation run by bad landlords. Liberal Democrats in the city headed by MP Don Foster had been calling on the Government to speed up action on the subject. Local MP Don Foster said:

I warmly welcome this announcement from the Minister. HMOs play an important role in providing affordable housing, but a dense population can have serious effects on the local community. It is great that the government has finally realised this and changed the law.

This is good for local residents giving control over unregulated profit driven changes to the community. Good for HMO tenants, as it will improve standards and get rid of bad landlords, by providing a mechanism for councils to set up local landlord licensing schemes.

The changes mean that landlords will need to apply for planning permission in order to establish a new HMO with a change of use, for example when the use of a property is altered from a family home to a shared house, with three or more tenants who are not related.

We would like to thank residents from across the city who responded to the Government consultation last year following our campaign.
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