Sunday, 24 January 2010

Sainsbury's for Odd Down(7)

The application for Sainsbury's has been passed, there is no right of appeal.

It was disappointing that the Tories on the committee voted in favour of the application, the change in the 20A?C bus is not going to stop the problems of traffic at peak times.

However, having been passed we will work with Sainsbury's to make the disruption from building phase as little as possible.

Empty Houses

With all of the clamour to build new houses, it is a shame that there are so many empty houses.

The council has compulsory purchase powers to bring empty houses back into use, we have been bring all the houses we know about in Odd Down, such as Burnt House Cottages to the council's attention.

Monday, 18 January 2010

Sainsbury's for Odd Down(6)

This is my view as expressed to the planning committee

Although not within Odd Down ward the effect of this application will have widespread implications for my residents.

I have tried to remain open minded about the application, the retail survey did identify a need, something I would agree with, and I don't have an objection in principal to a supermarket on the site.

However, I would ask you to refuse this application for the following reasons:

The main reason is the traffic. Traffic is difficult in Odd Down, it is now common place from the neighbouring estate to the development not to turn right, but to turn left and go 500m along to the P&R roundabout, then back again to go into town.

Putting money to the 20A/C will have no effect on traffic levels. The area is already served by 42 P&R bus to the hospital which stops in Twerton, and the 14 which is every 7 minutes, which goes down through the outskirts of Oldfield Park. If in the unlikely event this is effective, the sum of money is a capital sum, what happens when the money runs out, the store will be still there, and so will be the traffic.

The original plan was for a mixed use site, this has stretched the limit of mixed use, I would go as far as to say far too far. The size of the superstore excedes that identified in the retail study.

At Noad's corner half a mile from the site is an empty unit, vacated by Smiles, that has been empty for over year. This are is designated by the council as a protected shopping area. Along the road, Upper Bloomfield Road, is a another shopping centre, also protected by the local plan, we have been refusing change of use in this area, to keep it as shops. It is anchored by a convenience shop, the effect of this superstore will mean both areas have no chance of having anything open again. What plans have been made to deal with this ?

Please could democratic services provide a copy for the planning members at their meeting

Nigel

Grit Bins

I was asked by a resident about grit bins. If anyone wants one installed this is the current criteria.

There are currently over 370 grit bins throughout Bath and North East Somerset in known trouble spots which include:

·
Areas not normally subject to mechanical treatment with hilly, exposed locations
·
At potentially dangerous road junctions on streets with a steep gradient
· At streets with high vehicle usage and a significant gradient

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Plans for Siansbury's

We have scanned them in

http://www.odddownlibdems.org.uk/leaflets/scan0001.gif

Wednesday, 13 January 2010

Sainsbury's for Odd Down(5)

Sorry for sending out a second email today , I don't like doing this, but I felt this was important.

The Sainsbury's application is to come to the planning committee on Wednesday at 2:00pm in the Brunswick Room, Guildhall, Bath, the officers recommend approval.

You can still make representation development_control@bathnes.gov.uk until the same day of the meeting

The fill paper is at http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/committee_papers/DevContCtte/DC100120/00Agenda.htm

The report is long over 39 pages long

A couple of highlights

In this regard, the applicants have offered a capital contribution of £480,000 to improve
local bus services, comprising £300,000 to fund the purchase of three new buses on the
20A/20C service and three annual payments of £60,000 to subsidise these services which
would improve the frequency of service from hourly to half-hourly; it is also intended to
negotiate with bus operators to divert services along Frome Road.

There is proposed to be a sport club on Odd Down playing fields

The proposed facility would form the home of Team Bath Arsenal Football Club, Old
Culverhaysians Rugby Club, Hampset Cricket Club, Bath BMX club and would be used by
Culverhay School.

Based on Sport England figures and Football Foundation guidance the amount we would
be asking for the outlined project would be £1,500,000.

We intend to write to the planning committee councillors at the weekend, any views welcome

We hope tomorrow to put up a picture of the scheme

Nigel and Steve
nigelroberts at clara.co.uk

B&NES Job Cuts could mean dirty streets

Liberal Democrat councillors on the Safer Stronger Communities Overview and Scrutiny Pane have warned that the improvements in street cleansing promised for Bath may be impossible if the job cuts which have been threatened in the Council’s Environmental services section actually happen.

Bath City Liaison Forum delivered a very detailed report on improvements to cleansing services in the City of Bath, and these recommendations were accepted by the Cabinet member for customer services.

The services are already being delivered with very limited resources and any reduction in services would not be looked on very favourably by local residents.

Liberal Democrat members will be scrutinising forthcoming budget papers very carefully and ensuring that the Conservative administration does not cut services by the back door.

Sunday, 10 January 2010

Weather update (3)

This is from the council
The Met Office predicts that temperatures will remain very cold, with no significant thaw expected. Road conditions are expected to remain very icy. Further snow fall is forecast to continue during Sunday and throughout the week. As a result, road and pavement conditions will remain extremely hazardous.  The long-term weather forecast indicates the extremely cold weather is likely to continue for some considerable time and this will continue to adversely impact on Council services.  The Council advises anybody to plan carefully for any journeys and keep a close eye on the weather forecast. The Council is liaising with partners such as police, fire and the NHS Primary Care Trust to coordinate efforts.  Highways update  Bath & North East Somerset Council received a salt delivery on Friday. Because of the long-term weather forecast it is considered prudent to continue to ration the available supplies for priority routes. There is a national shortage of salt and it is understood that the supply chain can only meet one fifth of the national demand.  The salt delivery allowed Council crews to fill grit bins on Thursday and Friday in response to customer reports to Council Connect. The Council does rely upon the public to tell us when grit bins are empty and we can be contacted 24 hours a day on the Council Connect line. Because of the weekend weather the Council is concentrating its efforts on gritting so there was a very limited grit bin refilling service on Saturday and there will be on Sunday.  The Council gritting fleet will treat prioritised routes later on Sunday, and prepare snow ploughs if required. All major routes remain open. An emergency gritting vehicle will be available around the clock to tackle any specific problems on the main network.  Key transport routes and roads to key facilities like hospitals have been gritted and are passable with care. Because the Council must focus its resources on these priority routes, side roads will not be gritted and there will be very limited salting of pavements. The Council will continue to monitor road conditions and will provide additional salting and gritting on priority routes when required.  In the Lansdown, Bannerdown and Weston areas there was light snow on Saturday night/ Sunday morning and a minor problem with snow being blown in to drifts. Crews have attended and we do not anticipate any closures. Further snow may cause more localised drifting.  People are asked not to travel to the Council Salt Barn in Clutton to request salt because of the need to prioritise our stocks for key transport routes. We suggest visiting your local builder’s merchants.  Members of the Public should contact the Police direct with road closure requests. The Council does not have the powers to make emergency closures of roads in these circumstances. The Council works closely with the emergency services and if we are requested by the Police to close a road we will implement a physical closure as far as our resources permit.  Public spaces and Car Parks  Council staff will be redeployed onto snow clearing if required to keep shopping areas and car parks clear once priority routes have been attended to. However, there will be very limited salting in these areas until the further supplies of salt can be guaranteed.  Drivers are asked to drive and park their vehicles considerately during the cold weather. They should consider how their parking will affect the pedestrian use of road safety measures like zebra crossings and dropped kerbs.  Schools Update  It is the intention to open or partly open schools on Monday. Latest information on individual schools was published at 3pm on Sunday at www.bathnes.gov.uk/schoolclosures  This will be updated again at 6.45am on Monday morning. Parents/ guardians can also listen to their local radio station for information.  If a school is open, parents/ guardians should assume that Council-run transport to and from the school will attempt to run.  Waste and Recycling  All Council waste and recycling collection services were cancelled on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. This was because of the conditions under foot and on side roads where heavy waste collection vehicles may have slid on ice and could have seriously damaged cars and/ or seriously injured pedestrians.  Households that didn’t have their waste collected on these days should not leave their waste out for collection. The Council is not in a position to collect waste until a household’s next scheduled collection day if conditions allow.  Households should not put their waste out for collection on Monday. Further advice on collection arrangements will be issued Monday after an assessment of the weather conditions.  At present the Council does not anticipate conducting a collection on Monday.  Recycling Centres were open during the weekend. They will be open Monday, weather permitting.  Public Transport  For information on the wider public transport network, bus passengers can call Traveline on 0871 200 2233.  Other Services  Adult Services  If you have a vulnerable neighbour, please try and check their well-being during the cold weather.  We hope to open Day Centres on Monday 11th January depending on the availability of transport to and from the sites.  For community meals, the Council has delivered a frozen meal for Monday for those customers who are able to heat it, and frozen meals for the weekend for those customers who have these every week. Although we are delivering frozen meals as a contingency we will still attempt to deliver hot meals on weekdays.  The Council is encouraging carers or neighbours to those people who receive a community meal to see whether that person needs a meal, and to help them if possible.  Agencies commissioned by the Council to provide Home Care services have contingency plans in place. Clients or relatives are being contacted, but should call the relevant agency for more information if required. These telephone numbers can be found on www.bathnes.gov.uk/homecareproviders  Useful vulnerable adult telephone numbers: Community and Health Access Team at Lewis House, Bath: 01225 396000. Emergency Duty Team: 01454 615165.  Leisure Services  Aquaterra Leisure - the Council’s leisure centre contractor - are planning to open sites as usual, however some classes and courses may be cancelled and suggest people contact their local leisure centre before setting out on their journey.  •           Bath Sports and Leisure Centre - 01225 486905  •           Keynsham Leisure Centre - 01225 395164  •           South Wansdyke Sports Centre - 01761 415522  •           Culverhay Sports Centre - 01225 480882  Council Golf Courses will be closed until further notice and Chew Valley Leisure Centre remains closed.  Libraries  There is no Mobile Library service.  More information about Monday library opening arrangements will be released Monday morning.Council Offices 
All Council offices at Bath (Guildhall, Trimbridge House), Keynsham, and Midsomer Norton Hollies are due to open as usual Monday morning. 

Thursday, 7 January 2010

Weather update from the council(2)

In response to the atrocious weather conditions, Bath & North East Somerset Council has issued extensive updates about the local weather, road conditions, and services information. This evening’s full update can be accessed on the Council homepage – www.bathnes.gov.uk . See below for a services summary and the main sections that have changed since our morning Big Freeze update.

Schools Update

It is anticipated that most schools will be open or partly open on Friday 8th January. Individual decisions will be taken by Head Teachers in consultation with Governing Bodies based upon the circumstances for each school. Information from individual schools will be published on www.bathnes.gov.uk/schoolclosures

There will be updates to this information starting from 6.45am on Friday 8th January. Parents/ guardians should also listen to local radio stations.

Community Meals

The Council intends to offer a full hot meals service on Friday. We will also deliver a frozen meal for Friday and Monday for those customers who are able to heat it, and frozen meals for the weekend for those customers who have these every week. Although we are delivering frozen meals as a contingency we will still attempt to deliver hot meals on weekdays.

The Council is encouraging carers or neighbours to those people who receive a community meal to see whether that person needs a meal, and to help them if possible.

Waste and Recycling

All services were cancelled Thursday. They are also cancelled Friday. This is because of the conditions under foot and on side roads where heavy waste collection vehicles may slide on ice and could seriously damage cars and/ or seriously injure pedestrians. Waste should not be put out for collection on this day.

Households that didn’t have their waste collected on Wednesday or Thursday should not leave their waste out for collection. The Council is not in a position to collect waste until a household’s next scheduled collection day if conditions allow. All three Recycling Centres are closed tomorrow because of hazardous icy conditions on and near the site.

Weather Forecast

The Met Office predicts that temperatures will remain below freezing overnight and that there will be no further snow. As a result, road and pavement conditions will remain extremely hazardous on untreated surfaces.

The long-term weather forecast indicates the extremely cold weather is likely to continue for some considerable time and this will continue to adversely impact on Council services. The Bath & North East Somerset Council gritting fleet will be gritting Friday evening on major transport routes and outside key facilities. All major routes remain open. An emergency gritting vehicle will be available around the clock to tackle any specific problems on the main network.

Wednesday, 6 January 2010

Weather update from the council

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For immediate release.

6.1.10

BIG FREEZE UPDATE – 6.1.10, 4.50pm

Note: Further updates will be sent tomorrow.

Weather Forecast

Snow was continuous throughout the day causing treacherous conditions.

The Met Office predicts that early this evening, temperatures will plummet with clearing skys with road surface temperatures falling to -9c. This is likely to lead to the most hazardous driving conditions experienced this winter. Road and pavement conditions will be even more hazardous.

Residents are urged not to travel unless absolutely necessary. If residents have to, the Council advises anybody to plan carefully for any journeys and keep a close eye on the weather forecast. The Council is liaising with partners such as police, fire and the PCT to coordinate efforts.

Highways update

There are nationwide problems with the supply chain of salt which does not appear to be improving and there will be a need to conserve and ration salt stocks. Although the Council has a reasonable stock at the present time, the appalling weather conditions are making the situation difficult.

The Bath & North East Somerset Council gritting fleet will be going out this evening to do another full salting run on prioritised routes. Gritting vehicles will be available around the clock to tackle any specific problems on the main network.

Key transport routes and roads to key facilities like hospitals and care homes have been gritted and are passable with care. Steep hills not on the main network are impassable. Because the Council must focus its resources on these priority routes, side roads will not be gritted. There will be very limited salting of pavements and car parks because of the nationwide problem with the salt supply chain.

The Council will continue to monitor road conditions and will provide additional salting and gritting on priority routes when required.

Snow and ice can seriously damage the highways surface increasing the number of potholes because of the action of frost on the highway. Highways Inspectors will inspect the condition of the roads during the adverse weather conditions and the Council will resolve these problems as soon as it can.

Public spaces and Car Parks

Council staff will be redeployed onto snow clearing to keep shopping areas and car parks clear once priority routes have been attended to. However, there will be very limited salting in these areas because of the nationwide problem with the salt supply chain.

Public Transport

The Council will issue a service update as early as possible tomorrow morning. For more information on the wider public transport network, bus passengers can call Traveline on 0871 200 2233.

Waste and Recycling

All services were cancelled today.

Thursday waste collections in Bath & North East Somerset Council are cancelled. Please don't put your waste out for collection.

Residents will be notified when the Council intends to collect waste from cancelled collections.

All three Recycling Centres closed on Thursday.

Schools Update

All schools in the district will be closed tomorrow. Full details are on www.bathnes.gov.uk/schoolclosures

All nurseries and Children’s Centres will be closed.

Other Services

Adult Services

If you have a vulnerable neighbour, please try and check their well-being during the cold weather.

Plans are in place to ensure that services to vulnerable people continue. People who use day centres are advised to call their centre to check if it is open.

There will be a very limited community meals service tomorrow. The Council will prioritise any deliveries to those customers who can't cook for themselves. We have phoned all others to tell them that we may not be able to deliver hot meals tomorrow.

The Council is encouraging carers or neighbours to those people who receive a community meal to see whether that person needs a meal, and to help them if possible.

Agencies commissioned by the Council to provide Home Care services have contingency plans in place. Clients or relatives should call the relevant agency for more information. These telephone numbers can be found on www.bathnes.gov.uk/homecareproviders

Useful vulnerable adult telephone numbers: Community and Health Access Team at Lewis House, Bath: 01225 396000. Emergency Duty Team

01454 615165.

Leisure Services

Chew Valley Sports Centre will be closed on Thursday 7 January 2010

Aquaterra Leisure - the Council’s leisure centre contractor - are planning to open sites as usual, however some classes and courses may be cancelled and suggest people contact their local leisure centre before setting out on their journey.

Bath Sports and Leisure Centre - 01225 486905

Keynsham Leisure Centre - 01225 395164

South Wansdyke Sports Centre - 01761 415522

Culverhay Sports Centre - 01225 480882

Council Golf Courses will be closed until further notice

For more information

1. The Council’s website will be updated regularly to keep residents up to date about general information: www.bathnes.gov.uk

2. All other enquiries should be made to Council Connect on 01225 394041 between 8am – 6pm weekdays (Wednesday 9.30am – 6pm);

3. Outside of these times the Council’s Out of Office Emergency number is 01225 477 477;

4. People can email on council_connect@bathnes.gov.uk or SMS text on 07797806545. These can be contacted 24 hours a day and a response will be sent next working day. These methods should not be used for emergency communication.

Council Connect Offices are intending to be open as normal.

Service specific telephone numbers

Enquiries about Adult care transport should call 01225 394371.



Sunday, 3 January 2010

Staff cuts at the council

The first thing Steve and Nigel knew about the scale of the cuts was a letter from one of the council officers and reading the Bath Chronicle article

http://www.thisisbath.co.uk/news/100-plus-council-staff-face-redundancy/article-1656611-detail/article.html

What is worse the Conservative controlled council got it all wrong, sending out letters to those affected, then having to withdraw them as the redundnacy payments were wrong. Surely with something so important someone should have checked properly.

There are many areas that the council is not doing well, due to the amount of staff they use, street cleaning is one of these. So what is happening ? more staff are being cut, how are those remaining going to do the job ? This is one of the questions we will be trying to find out.

We feel for all those staff that start the new year out with the threat of redundancy.

Wansdyke Road Pot holes

Unsurprisingly with all of the problems of the cold weather there are more pot holes, this time in Wansdyke Road. They have been reported to the council.

Pot holes in Kingsway(2)

The council has filled in the pot holes, but around the patch the road is breaking up again. Our view is that the council should have re-surfaced the road, in the long term it will be cheaper