Wednesday, 16 September 2009

Conservatives refuse to try for hostel cash

Conservative politicians on Bath and North East Somerset have refused to re-open negotiations with the Government to try to secure funding for a hostel for the homeless in Bath.

Government funding for the hostel scheme was withdrawn in May due to concerns about timetables and deliverability. However, having made direct contact with the Homes and Communities Agency, Councillor Will Sandry (Liberal Democrat co-Shadow Cabinet member for healthier communities and older people and Liberal Democrat Councillor for Oldfield), was in a position to propose re-establishing dialogue with a view to reapplying for funding.

Cllr Sandry’s amendment was rejected by the Conservative administration of B&NES Council, although a smaller, local package of funding was adopted unanimously.

Councillor Sandry commented:

“My proposal offered the Cabinet member the opportunity to review the project, re-engage with the HCA and bring in local homelessness organisations, such as Julian House and others, on to the new project team.

“The money allocated by Council tonight was welcome, but it can only provide an incomplete solution to the complex needs of homeless people in Bath.

“Even though my proposals were unsuccessful on the night, I hope that the Cabinet member will reflect on them and, for the benefit of some of those most at need in our community, implement them.”

Lost Generation - Nick Clegg

Nick Clegg said "We cannot afford to let millions of young people get trapped on the dole. That's why today I've launched a new plan to tackle youth unemployment.

Did you know that nearly a fifth of 18 to 24-year-olds are currently unemployed? Without action now, more than 1.2 million young people could be unemployed by the end of 2011.

The Conservatives failed a whole generation in the wake of the last recession. A whole generation became trapped in a culture of dependency. Labour look set to repeat the same mistakes now. We can't let that happen."

Nick Clegg is launching new policy that would take almost 900,000 unemployed young people off the streets.

Under the plans more than 800,000 young people will be given a leg-up into industry via paid internships. An extra 60,000 places will be funding in universities and colleges, opening up further and higher education.

We will slash the time Labour forces young people to wait for support, fully fund apprenticeships to put British industry back on track and give more youngsters places on essential back-to-work schemes.

Our proposals would cost £1.1 billion and would be paid for by scrapping the VAT cut immediately.

For more details see:

B&NES Council rejects Bristol airport expansion

Bath and North East Somerset Council’s planning committee has opposed the expansion of Bristol International Airport at its meeting this week. This follows the similar position adopted by Bristol Council last month. The application is to be determined by North Somerset Council, but B&NES has is a consultee on the application.

Councillor Nicholas Coombes (Liberal Democrat, Bathwick) tabled the following wording which was adopted by ­­­8 votes to 4:

That Bath and North East Somerset Council considers that the causes and effects of climate change should be the principal considerations in a development of this nature and therefore recommends that the airport expansion application should be refused on these grounds.

Councillor Coombes welcomed the vote and said:

“The expansion of airports is incompatible with attempts to cut carbon emissions. Indeed, it goes against common sense to imagine that Bristol International Airport can double its emissions over the next 10 years but that carbon emissions overall can be reduced in line with government targets.

“Only this week the Climate Change Committee that the UK will have to cut emissions by 90% by 2050 for the aviation industry to continue to grow.

Department for Transport will look to support Sat Nav scheme

The Department for Transport will be sending a representative to the next meeting of the South West Regional Freight Forum, following Bath MP Don Foster’s request that they support a local pilot scheme which will see local authorities provide appropriate routes to Sat Nav companies.

In reply to Don’s letter, sent on the 12th August, Paul Clark MP the Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Transport states that the work undertaken “sounds potentially very promising”.

Lib Dems in Bath have been backing calls for more appropriate routes for traffic, especially HGVs, and encouraged Bath & North East Somerset Council to start sending a representative to the Freight Forum. Now the DfT will be represented at the meetings and will “consider what support [they] can provide.”

Bath MP Don said, “I am pleased that the Department for Transport are showing a keen interest in this project. I have highlighted a number of areas in Bath where HGVs are using totally inappropriate routes and getting these routes removed from Sat Nav maps will be a big step to helping resolve the problem.