Sunday, 28 March 2010

Bloomfield Drive pavements

It was pleasing to see that the pavements in Bloomfield Drive near Bloomfield Rise North have been re-surfaced following a request earlier in February.

Wednesday, 24 March 2010

Possible dates for secondary school review

Venue

Wednesday 12th May

7pm

St Mark’s School
Baytree Road
Bath BA1 6ND

Wednesday 19th May

7pm

Oldfield School
Kelston Road
Bath BA1 9AB

Thursday 20th May

7pm

Culverhay School
Rush Hill
Bath BA2 2QL

Tuesday 25th May

7pm

Brunswick Room
Guildhall, High Street
Bath BA1 5AW

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Street light in Edgeworth Road

The column was damaged so badly that the council is having the replace the whole thing. The column is also being repositioned to the back of the footpath. Southern Electric and Western Power have to carry out these works and have 28 days to do so. They are expected to complete everything by 14/15th April.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Old Fosse Road verges


Back in November we asked for bollards to be placed in Old Fosse Road, this had been in response to a request from a resident, as too may cars were driving over the grass churning them up. We are please to say these have now been installed.

Friday, 19 March 2010

Sulis Meadows works

The council has started work on tidying up Sulis Meadows, following the adoption by Crest. There have been a few concerns, this is what the council has to say.

"As you may be aware work has started on site to cut back the overgrown hedge and litterpick.

I am receiving a few complaints regarding this about cutting hedges when birds nesting season so I will clarify a few things.

It is not illegal to cut a hedge after 28th feb it is illegal to disturb birds nesting in hedges so our contractor is fully aware of the issue and will not disturb any nests if found.

Also Bartlett's tree services are removing trees from the open space on behalf of knightstone housing not the council, I have also received complaints regarding this."

Kingsway roads

We have ask the executive councillor what is going on with the roads in Kngsway

1. Question from Councillor Nigel Roberts

With the announcement of extra money for road repairs could the Executive Councillor give an assurance that Kingsway's Roads will be repaired, as he knows I have raised this several times, and although repairs have been made after a few months the pot holes return?

Answer from Cabinet Member for Customer Services

Officers have needed to undertake supplementary inspections on many roads as a result of the severe winter damage. These inspections are being used to help form a proposed programme of works. Until I have received a detailed programme for approval I cannot advise Members which streets will be included. However, I will ensure that officers do give consideration the Kingsway roads. The proposed extra funding will enable significantly more roads to be resurfaced in 2010/11 but regrettably this additional funding will not be enough to deliver all the requests for resurfacing the Officers and Members receive.

Empty homes - why is the council not doing more ?

This isn't the fault of the officers, there is a policy vacuum we asked the following question at the recent council meeting.

There are plenty of empty houses, but the proposals are to build 2000 more houses on green fields.

3. Question from Councillor Nigel Roberts

Please could the Executive Councillor answer, how many empty houses are there in Bath and North East Somerset ?

How many basements and areas above shops are available to convert to housing?

How many times has the Council used Compulsory Purchase Orders to bring back houses into occupation?

Answer from Cabinet Member for Adult Social Services and Housing

Using Council Tax records we estimate that there are 528 properties that have been empty for 6 months or more. However, it is important to remember that this figure includes properties in a range of conditions and circumstances, for example, going through probate, empty though in the process of being sold etc. In addition it does not include second homes.

Property Services have confirmed that there are no basements, nor areas above Council-owned shops, where residential use would be feasible due to a variety of physical, financial or statutory reasons. However, we have no information on privately owned shops.

The Council has in the past promoted the living over the shop (LOTS) initiative and as a result has let a number of basements and upper floors to Housing Associations who have converted space. Additionally a number of flats are let to Somer Community Housing Trust and where Somer's tenant vacates these properties have become available to the Council for sale.

The Council has not used CPO to bring properties back into use. However, Housing Services are currently developing their strategy for the recovery of such properties. This includes a prioritisation system that will result in us dealing with the properties on a worst first basis and using a full range of incentives and ultimately enforcement activity.

Councillors take action to reduce traffic speeds in Odd Down

Odd Down Councillors Steve Hedges and Nigel Roberts will be using part of ‘their’ share of B&NES Council’s Ward Councillor’s Initiative Fund to help cut traffic speeds through Odd Down.The Ward Councillor’s Initiative Fund is a pilot scheme which allows local Councillors to respond quickly to local needs with small amounts of financial support. All B&NES Councillors will have the chance to allocate funding over the course of the pilot.

Councillor Hedges will allocate £4,000 for the financial year 2009/10 and Councillor Roberts will allocate £4,000 for the financial year 2010/11.

Councillor Hedges commented:

Nigel and I have talked to many Odd Down residents and they have told us that traffic and the speed of traffic entering Odd Down is their main concern.

We would have preferred to use the funding to create a 20 mph zone in the Kingway Estate, the Cranmore Estate or the Sulis Meadows Estate but this would cost too much.

Instead we are putting this year’s allocation into an electronic ‘Reduce Speed’ sign which will be placed by the large roundabout at Odd Down Park and Ride. The funding will also go to provide a number of 30 mph roundels [where?] to reinforce the speed limit and help prevent drivers from speeding into Odd Down.”

Councillor Nigel Roberts added:

We are pleased that the scheme we put forward has been approved and we are hopeful it will make life safer for residents on the Wellsway in Odd Down. Steve and I will be talking to residents about possible uses for the Ward Councillor’s Initiative Fund for the next financial year.”

Stop cock cover missing in Cranmore Place

The stop cock cover outside of 92 Cranmore place in the pavement has been reported to the council

St Gregory's Planning application

We believe that an application for the sixth form will be shortly

Monday, 15 March 2010

Wall Noad's Corner

The wall at Noad's Corner next to the Telewest Chapel is to be repaired.

Sulis Meadows adoption - meetings

A meeting has been set to go through the details of Sulis Meadows adoption and to look at the way forward, getting residents views on what should be done. This has been set as St Gregory's Hall on 20th May 4-7pm

The 6th July 4-7pm has been set aside to hear how the Council is going to do things, having heard what residents have said

Please contact us if you have any questions

Council Tax bills gone out

Most of the council tax bills have been dispatched, there is much cheer in the bills, one of the smallest increases for the council, but services will be getting worse

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Bath Casino update

Bath & North East Somerset Council (the Council), as the licensing authority, proposes to issue one premises licence for a small casino within its area pursuant to Part 8 and Schedule 9 of the Gambling Act 2005 and the Categories of Casino Regulations 2008 (SI 2008/1330).

As part of this process the Council has produced a draft application pack for prospective applicants. The purpose of this application pack is to inform potential applicants of the rules and procedures applicable to the application process. It will be published to conform with the requirements set by Parliament and the Secretary of State, and to ensure an application process which is both transparent, and fair. Copies of the documents can be seen on the Council's web site at the following address:

http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/BathNES/business/LicencesStreetTrading/GamblingAct2005CasinoApplication.htm

These documents will also be available for viewing at the Council offices at 9-10 Bath Street, Bath during the hours of 8:30 am to 5:00 pm Mondays to Thursdays and 8:30 am to 4:30 pm on Fridays.

I would be grateful for any comments that you may wish to make on the proposed application pack by Tuesday 6th April 2010. Following this consultation, a report will be taken to the Council's Licensing Committee for it to consider any proposed amendments and to adopt the documents.

Please send any comments to me at the following address.

Thank you.

Andrew Jones

Environmental Monitoring and Licensing Manager

Environmental Services

Bath and North East Somerset Council

9-10 Bath Street

Bath

BA1 1SN


Saturday, 6 March 2010

Potholes


Odd Down is full of potholes, we are reporting as many as we see. If you see any either ring 394041 or email council_connect@bathnes.gov.uk

Please to see that Wansdyke Road has been identified to be sorted. The white lines around the pot holes means the council has been up, normally things will be done within 28 days

Monday, 1 March 2010

Secondary School consultation

The council is proposing to change the secondary schools in Bath - below is what we have been told.

Steve and Nigel both believe that Culverhay should be co-ed - please let us know your views

What this means for Bath

In Bath, the proposal is to further raise standards and improve the quality of schools buildings, reduce the number of schools with surplus places and create the right size schools which are educationally and financially viable. The proposal will increase the number of co-educational places available. Steps will also be taken to make sure there are sufficient church school places and that parents still have the option to send their child to a single sex school.

No changes are proposed to Beechen Cliff and Hayesfield Schools which will provide the choice of single sex boys and girls places for parents. No changes are proposed to Ralph Allen and St Gregory’s Catholic College.

To achieve the overall strategy for Bath, Oldfield, Culverhay and St Mark’s will be closed and two new schools will be opened.

Bollards Oolite Grove

A number of the bollards are missing from the roundabout in Oolite Grove, we have asked for these to be replaced.

RSS Steve and Nigel's view

The Core Strategy

Fails to address housing numbers from a local perspective. The Regional Spatial Strategy (RSS) housing numbers have been dictated by Government at Westminster and were based on the growth that was expected a couple of years ago. It is unlikely that this level of growth will happen.

The Core Strategy is driven by growth, but why should we accept the growth that Government want us to have? Growth, such as we have had in the past, has not been related to quality of life or to the wellbeing of local people.

Steve said “how can this be good for Odd Down,we already have a new large development at St. Martins,as well as the one at the old Clarks site and a new superstore to be built, and no major improvements for roads, our road system in odd Down is fit to burst and most days is grid locked”

Local Decision Making

The Liberal Democrat view is that local communities should decide on their future, including how much growth that they want to see. In the South West. With low wages the norm for many of our young people. Many will never own their own homes in the present housing market with its critical shortage of affordable homes.

Nigel said "The Liberal Democrats are committed to making changes directed from the grassroots of our local communities. The present Core Strategy is a top down document, based on compliance with Government direction."