Sunday, 22 November 2009

Wet House - council not listening again

Councillors on Bath and North East Somerset Council had the opportunity tonight to hear statements from members of the public about the proposed hostel and wet house near Kingsmead Square.

However Liberal Democrat Councillors were disappointed when the ruling Conservative Group refused to hold a 10 minute ‘urgent issue’ debate on the topic. One Conservative Cabinet Member even complained that Councillors were using the right to ask factual questions of public speakers as a chance to raise political points.

Councillor Andy Furse (Kingsmead) commented:

“The fact that the Conservative administration refused to allow a debate in public about the wet house and hostel proposal smacks of the secrecy that has surrounded this issue since the start.

“Nearly all the business owners and residents who came to speak mentioned the lack of consultation and engagement from the Council. One might begin to wonder whether there is more information which will impact businesses and the community which is so far being held back. For example I tabled a question to Council tonight and in the answer the Cabinet member refers to a ‘wet garden’ rather than an indoor facility. This is the first we have heard of a ‘wet garden’ and it seems as though the Cabinet member is once again moving the goalposts.

“I do, however, welcome the Cabinet member’s suggestion about ‘commissioning independent research’ into the wet house scheme and I urge him to make sure any research is shared with the public and businesses in an open and transparent fashion.”

Councils got priorities wrong again ?

Bath and North East Somerset Council has spent nearly £150,000 on publicity relating to the Bath Transport Package and BRT scheme, it has been revealed this week.

Councillor Nigel Roberts (Odd Down) quizzed the Cabinet member responsible for transport at Council this week and found that total spending thus far on publicity relating to the BTP including the BRT scheme was £145,136.51.

However, only £30,819 has been spent on publicising the Core Strategy consultation programme so far this year, despite the fact that the Core Strategy is arguably the most important issue facing the Council in its current term.

Councillor Roberts commented:

“I do find it disappointing that there is such an imbalance in the funding dedicated to publicity. Yes, the transport package is important and the Council should be communicating with residents about it, but the Core Strategy is going to affect the whole of the district for the next 20 years.

“The Council must do more to reach out to all parts of the community and communicate the importance of this consultation, which will influence the location of housing, land allocated for business use and other issues for years to come.”

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

traffic arrangements for Christmas

Some of the measures designed to improve the flow of traffic around the city area are:

Variable Message Signing will be used on all the major routes giving travel advice to drivers, like availability of car parking;

No right-hand turns in or out of Charlotte Street car park for drivers from 25 November to relieve congestion and help stop traffic jams;

Sunday Park and Ride for a further six Sunday’s and operating until 9.30pm on fifteen evenings in the run-up to Christmas;

Increased patrols by Civil Enforcement Officers to ensure responsible, safe parking by drivers.

Embargoed all road works except for emergencies.

For the Bath Christmas Market, coaches must registered to use designated drop-off points and park at one of the designated coach parks. There will be:

Better arrangements for coaches travelling to Bath. New traffic orders for North Parade, Orange Grove, High Street, and Grand Parade mean coaches not registered will be moved on;

Restrictions to coach parking on Bathwick Hill, Bear Flats and the inbound carriageway of Wellsway will ensure the normal bus and vehicle traffic isn’t hindered and minimise any inconvenience to residents from coaches parking on the edge of private properties;

Vigorous enforcement of minibuses coming to the city that have not registered.

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Don asks Minister why House of Commons won’t sign up to 10:10

Bath’s Lib Dem MP Don Foster asked the government Minister why she wasn’t prepared to sign the House of Commons up to the 10:10 campaign.

Don has signed up to the campaign himself, which calls for individuals, organizations and businesses to reduce their carbon output by 10% in 2010. The government is calling on people to sign up, but isn’t prepared to itself!

Don said, “The government should be taking a lead on climate change issues, and shouldn’t be seen as merely lecturing to others. That’s why I questioned the Minister as to why she wouldn’t back the House of Commons signing up to the 10:10 campaign.”

You can read Don’s question to the Minister by clicking the link.

Monday, 2 November 2009

Good news on recycling front

Ever since we started collecting plastic bottles residents have been asking what about yoghurt pots and food trays. Ever since we started the garden waste collection residents have been asking for cardboard to be made weekly.

Well the good news is that from Monday 30th November the weekly collection is being expanded to include cardboard and household plastic packaging for recycling. This will help reduce the amount of our waste going to landfill and reduce our carbon footprint. It should also help reduce the amount of missed cardboard collection that has happened in several areas either because it has been put out on the wrong day or because the cardboard has been wrapped wrongly. It should also help areas that have been missed completely when the move to same day collection started.

Between 16th and 27th November 2009 the Council will deliver a leaflet about the changes along with a blue weatherproof bag - for cardboard and brown paper only - to every household covered by the green box recycling scheme. It is important that cardboard is kept separate from the newspapers and other kinds of paper that residents put in their recycling box because they are recycled separately. Once these new collections start, the Council will no longer collect cardboard mixed with the garden waste as this mix has become difficult to compost successfully.

Further information on what should be placed in the blue bag, recycling green box, and what types of plastic can be recycled is included in the Winter edition of Connect Magazine that will be distributed to all households across the district from mid-November. For more information about the new service, go to or contact Council Connect on 01225 39 40 41 or

The bad news of course is that we still have to wait for Autumn 2011 before food waste is collected separately. This had been scheduled for Spring 2008 but has been delayed. It is the food waste in the bags that attract various wildlife to tear open the bags and spill mess everywhere.

To pay for it our Conservative Council will be increasing the garden waste collection service. It would be better if they abandoned their plans to build new Council offices in Keynsham!!!