Views sought on public convenience provision

Local residents have just a few weeks left to give their views on public conveniences in the area, as part of a consultation being run by the Council.

The consultation, which ends on February 5, is looking at standards of provision across the district, including the quality, quantity, and distribution of public conveniences.

Amongst other issues, the Council also wants people’s views on what facilities public conveniences should contain, eg baby changing facilities; what times of day they should be open; where any new facilities should be located and how many facilities there should be.

One of the areas the Council is looking at with the private sector is a community or partnership toilet scheme whereby more pubs, restaurants and shops give public access to their toilets. This system works well elsewhere in the country.

The Tory Council thinks that this type of scheme could be a real opportunity for businesses and the Council to work together for the overall benefit of the community. The Council wants to hear what local shops and businesses think and which ones would be interested in taking part.

Anyone wanting to know more about the proposals and have their say can go to and under the ‘Of Interest’ link click ‘Public Convenience Provision – Consultation’. Or contact Council Connect on 01225 39 40 41 or email

The online consultation also includes specific information and a questionnaire about a Community Toilet Scheme for businesses to input their thoughts.

The results of the consultation will be considered by the Safer and Stronger Communities Overview and Scrutiny Panel at a later date.

Bath Lower Bristol Road and Western Corridor Regeneration Delivery Plan (RDP)

The Council is in the process of creating Regeneration Delivery Plans for the Western Corridor and Lower Bristol Road area of Bath.

RDPs are also being produced for Bath city centre, Keynsham, Midsomer Norton and Radstock and will help inform the strategic site allocations in the emerging Core Strategy. In due course the RDPs will help in the creation of area specific Supplementary Planning Documents which will be material consideration in respect of any planning applications and importantly will provide clarity over actions to deliver key regeneration sites.

The Council states that the,

RDP for the Lower Bristol Road and Western Corridor is being drawn up to help support and encourage economic growth whilst ensuring that the unique advantages of being based in Bath are identified and enhanced.

As part of the Lower Bristol Road and Western Corridor RDP, Savills, the Council’s appointed consultant, will be engaging with local stakeholders including businesses within the area to establish what businesses’ plans are in the short, medium and longer term. This will be carried out through telephone surveys and in some cases, site visits. Savills will also engage with local residents and other local groups to ensure that the voices of those who have a direct interest in this important corridor for Bath are heard.

The current planned engagement for the Lower Bristol Road Western Corridor RDP process is set out below:

– January 2010 – Finalise information gathering (including landowner questionnaires)

– February 2010 – Confirmation of issues and options through stakeholder engagement

– March 2010 – Draft RDP

– April 2010 – RDP sign off

If you have any comments on the future of of this area of the city or the RDP progress, please contact us with your comments.

New Car Club Bays in Oldfield Park

The Council has given NOTICE to either create or amend various Car Club Bays in the city including those at: Canterbury Road, Triangle East and Upper Oldfield Park. These proposals are made using the Road Traffic Regulation Act 1984 as amended.

Full details of the proposal are contained in the draft order, which together with a map and a Statement of the Council’s Reasons for proposing to make the order may be inspected at Trimbridge House, Trim Street, Bath and at the Council offices below during normal office hours.

Objections and representations with respect to the proposal, together with the grounds on which they are made must be sent in writing to the Traffic and Safety Team quoting the title of the scheme: (Various Roads, Bath) (Car Club Bays) Order 201-; and the reference PEV5937/LJ at the address below by 4th February 2010.

For any queries concerning this proposal please telephone 01225 395404. Please note that all representations received may be considered in public by the Council and that the substance of any representation together with the name and address of the person making it, could become available for public inspection.

Contact: Parking Services, Riverside, Temple Street, Keynsham. BS31 1LA

Reported crime down 11%

Today, all councillors received this letter from the most Senior Police Officer in Bath & North East Somerset:

Crime Reduction (-11.4%)
Detection (36.7%)
Customer Satisfaction (86%)

Firstly can I wish everyone a very happy and enjoyable New Year. The Christmas/New year was a busy period for us but I am pleased to tell you that in overall terms reported crime in December was 11% down on last year. It was particularly good to see 30% less houses were broken into during December compared to last December.

It made me reflect on how at the beginning of the previous decade the focus for policing was reducing crime against property. People were having their houses broken into, their cars stolen or broken into and our efforts were very focused on stopping determined criminals stealing other people’s property. In the last few years we have seen considerable success and dramatic reductions in acquisitive crime and levels are now as low as many can remember.

On the other hand it is becoming increasingly apparent that it is necessary for us to put greater emphasis on how people treat each other and I suggest that this will be the challenge of the next decade. Concern is increasing as to the impact a small minority of people have on other lives.

At one end of the spectrum is anti social behaviour which is annoying, irritating and a cause of anxiety for so many people. The use of violence to resolve a situation is increasingly common, often this occurs where people know each other and is increasingly difficult to control whether it be domestic violence, still well hidden from most of us, or violence in our towns and city on a Friday / Saturday night. Vulnerable adults, the elderly and young children all require protection and greater emphasis is now needed on how we deal with those people who remain in our community but pose a risk to those they live with or near.

Read the rest of this entry. Read the rest of this entry.

Don urges Post Office to keep 1st December deadline on Weston

Bath MP Don Foster this morning [Monday 9th November] met with Tim Nickolls, Network Development Manager (South West) of Post Office Ltd, to discuss the current situation with the closed branch in Weston village.

Don has been in regular contact with Post Office Ltd since the branch closed unexpectedly in June. They are currently advertising for applications for the vacant branch, the deadline for applications being 1st December.

The Bath MP commented,

I had a positive meeting with Post Office Ltd this morning, who are committed to re-opening a post office branch in Weston. Although no formal applications have yet been received, there are active negotiations with four interested parties.

“Post Office Ltd have set a deadline of 1st December for applications to be in, and I am urging them to stick to this to make sure that a branch can be re-opened as soon as possible.

“The post office is an important part of the local community, and other shops suffer as a result of a post office closing, that is why it is important we get this branch open, and I am pleased Post Office Ltd are working hard to do that.”

Nationwide first for BathRider bus ticket

Bus passengers will be able to travel as many times as they want on Bath bus services whatever the operator because of a bus season ticket scheme created by Bath & North East Somerset Council and introduced by the commercial bus operators in Bath. Both Day and Week tickets will be available for adults and children.

The BathRider Scheme is a national first where a Council has used powers under the Transport Act 2000 to make a ticket scheme. All operators in the city are required to take part in the scheme which starts November 9th 2009.

Public transport groups have given their support for the initiative. Mike Greedy, Passenger Focus Manager, said, “Simplified ticketing and faster journey times are two features that passengers raise as important areas for improvements. Passenger Focus welcomes this initiative which will make travel easier and quicker for all bus passengers in the city of Bath and hopes this can be extended elsewhere in due course.”

Anne Lock, spokesperson for Campaign for Better Transport, said, “Members of Campaign for Better Transport were delighted to hear of the work undertaken by the Council in order to get the BathRider scheme up and running. We welcome the successful introduction of this initiative which will enable buses to ferry passengers around the City without the delays which arise from succeeding passengers fumbling for their fare and receiving change.”

Complex negotiations with commercial bus operators have taken place over the past six months. The Council is grateful to them for their co-operation, assistance, and advice in getting to a workable solution that will offer worthwhile benefits for passengers. Amongst those to benefit the scheme are children going to Ralph Allen School who need two buses to go to school and University students and staff who need more than one bus to get to campus. The ticket is not applicable to Park & Ride services or tour buses.

How does the BathRider work?

Passengers can buy their Daily or Weekly BathRider scratch cards at Bath Bus station; Tourist Information Centre – Abbey Churchyard; Tourism Centre –Bath Spa railway station (Platform 1); STA shop – Bath University.

When the date of travel is scratched off the ticket is then valid for the whole of that day. If it’s a weekly ticket the ticket is sealed over and is then valid for 7 days from the date scratched off. There is no limit to the number of times the ticket can be used that day or week, but the ticket must be shown to the driver each time it is used. The price (set by the bus operators) will be : Daily – £4.95 Adult/ £3.70 Child; Weekly – £17.50 Adult/ £16.50 Child.

To find out more about the district’s public transport network people can go to

Don to meet Post Office Ltd over Weston closure

Bath MP Don Foster will meet Tim Nickolls, Network Development Manager (South West) for Post Office Ltd, next Monday (9th November) to discuss re-opening a post office branch in Weston as soon as possible.
Don has been in regular contact with Post Office Ltd since the previous branch closed unexpectedly in June.

Don said, “It is vitally important that Weston village has a post office, and Post Office Ltd have remained committed to re-opening the service in Weston, anything less would be unacceptable.

“Unfortunately, commercial negotiations have not been as smooth as originally hoped, but representatives from Post Office have made visits to Weston to speak to interested parties.

“As we know from previous closures, other businesses are also affected. For example at Mount Road in Southdown, when the post office closed trade dropped by around 15%. The post office needs to be open soon or there could be long-term consequences for Weston village.

“However, there are differences between this and other closures. Post Office Ltd did not want this branch to close, in the past we have had to deal with government closures ordered by Labour and the Conservatives, neither of whom have grasped the true social value of the post office network.”

Don calls for low floors on 12 route

Following the recent announcement by First Bus to discontinue running the number 12 bus service, it has been confirmed that this service will now run under Faresaver.

However, it seems unlikely that buses on this route will run with low floors, and so will not be accessible for a number of bus users. While Don is grateful that the 12 route has been saved, he has written to both Faresaver and the Council to try and address this issue.

Don Foster said:

“I am delighted that Faresaver has decided to operate this service, which is relied on by many people in Bath.

“That said, it is concerning that we might not have low floor buses on this route, which could make buses inaccessible for many. When the Liberal Democrats implemented the bus gate it led to First spending millions modernising their fleet, including improving bus accessibility. We don’t want to let these high standards slip.

“I’m looking forward to working with Faresaver and the Council to attempt to resolve this important issue.”

Mystery of disappearing bins

Councillor Ian Gilchrist (Liberal Democrat, Widcombe) has stumbled on a mystery which has residents annoyed and Council officers perplexed: someone is stealing Bath’s litter bins!

The problem was first brought to the attention of Cllr Gilchrist by a resident in Widcombe who detailed four locations in the area of the Lower Bristol Rd and Brougham Hayes, where there had once been litter bins performing their civic duty but where there now remain nothing but a circular impression in the ground. Other Councillors have heard similar reports from other areas.

Fearing that this might be a Council tactic to reduce litter collection costs Cllr Gilchrist contacted the relevant officers, who replied: “We are bewildered as to why/who has removed these bins. We have had many bins disappearing since August, and we can only assume that some parties may be involved, taking the opportunity to increase their income through the scrap metal trade”.

Cllr Gilchrist says:

“Bizarre though this explanation seems, I can think of no other. It’s hard to attribute the problem to random acts of vandalism as the removal seems so systematic. I don’t believe there is much scrap metal value in these bins so I can’t see how it benefits the perpetrators, but nevertheless the cost to the Council to replace them will be considerable.

“Until the new bins can be put in place I would urge all people passing through this area to ensure they carry their litter home and dispose of it properly there.”