Saturday, 21 November 2009

No Bath ice rink - again

Councillor Terry Gazzard, Conservative Cabinet Member for Development and Major Projects, quoted in the Chronicle on November 13th 2008:

"A lot of hard work was put into getting the ice rink for this year and it was very disappointing that it could not go ahead.

"We will start looking into the possible sites and do not want Bath to be sold short again next year."

Councillor Terry Gazzard, Cabinet Member for Development and Major Projects, quoted in the Chronicle on November 12th 2009:

“I was very keen to have an ice rink this year, having failed last year.

“I am dismayed that we haven’t managed to do it this year.

“I will do my damnedest for next year.”

The ice rink was supposed to go in Parade Gardens, but the planning application was rejected after the Environment Agency said there was a risk of flooding. Unfortunately the planning application was submitted so late in the year that there is not now time for a new application, for a different site, to be tabled.
It’s hard to understand why the Cabinet member left it so late, especially given the complications regarding last year’s attempt to have an ice rink.

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Core Strategy consultation dates

Local residents have the chance to give their views on the major challenges facing the district over the next twenty years including plans that could see 2,000 new homes built on the land between Twerton & Newton St Loe.

Some extra dates have been included due to the high number of people wanting to have their say.

- North Bath drop-in session - 20th November 2009 3.30pm- 7pm New Oriel Hall, Larkhall;

- Twerton drop -in session - 24th November 2009 3.30 pm - 7pm St Michael's Primary School Twerton;

Residents can also read a four-page feature in the current Winter 2009 edition of Connect Magazine being delivered to homes across the district right now. This can also be accessed online at Residents have until 11th December 2009 to respond with their view on the tough challenges faced by the area, such as the need to provide more affordable homes, improving the availability of modern flexible office accommodation, delivering necessary infrastructure and one of the biggest issues facing the planet – climate change and reducing the community carbon footprint.

Residents can log-on to or call 01225 477548 or write to Planning Policy Team, Trimbridge House, Trim Street, Bath BA1 2DP, or email to find out more. The document can also be read at all libraries in the district and at the reception area in Trmbridge House, Bath.

Planning application

Ward: Weston
App Ref: 09/03840/LBA
Registered: 3rd November 2009
Expiry Date: 29th December 2009
Location: 30 Trafalgar Road Upper Weston Bath BA1 4EW
Grid Ref: (E)372908 - (N)166434
LB Grade: II
Proposal: Alterations for the fitting of external downpipe on front elevation to conceal gas pipe.
Officer: Bob Cannon

Thursday, 12 November 2009

Eastfield Avenue street survey - results

The results of the Eastfield Avenue street survey (see my blog 17th October) are now in.
110 questionnaires were delivered, 26 were returned (24%)

The results are as follows:

Q2. Do you think that traffic levels are a major problem on Eastfield Avenue?
Yes 18 (69%)
No 8

Q3. Do you think it would help to reduce the amount of through traffic using the road?
Yes 21 (81%)
No 4
No comment 1

Q4. Would you support making a section of the road between 50/29 and 104/89 one way, in the direction of bus travel?
Yes 18 (69%)
No 8

Q5. Would you prefer to make the entire road one way?
Yes 12 (46%)
No 13
No comment 1

Q6. Liberal Democrats across Bath are campaigning for safer streets. We believe all residential streets should have a 20mph limit.
Would you back 20mph limits for our residential streets?
Yes 23 (88%)
No 3

Q7. Have you ever used the Liberal Democrats Weston ward blog to keep up to date with Weston and Bath issues (
Yes 0 (0%)
No 23
No comment 3

Thank you to everyone who responded to my short questionnaire. We received a high rate of replies, which is particularly helpful.

The vast majority of those who replied backed the idea of making a small section of the road one way, which would discourage through traffic from Lansdown Lane using Eastfield Avenue as a cut through.

Also, those who responded were overwhelmingly in favour of having a 20mph limit. The Lib Dems in Bath currently have a “Twenty is Plenty” campaign and you can sign up for it on-line at

I will now be writing to the Councillor responsible for roads and highways to ask him to look into this proposal. I hope that, given the number of responses in favour, he will agree to assess whether it is possible.

I will keep updating progress via my blog and through the Weston Focus newsletter which we put out.

Hopefully we will also be able to generate some coverage in the local media.

Monday, 9 November 2009

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

Bath Liberal Democrat 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.”

Sunday, 8 November 2009

Planning applications

We will be pleased to have your comments on the following planning applications:-

Ward: Weston
App Ref: 09/04053/FUL
Registered: 21st October 2009
Expiry Date: 16th December 2009
Location: Fleetlands, Weston Park, Upper Weston, Bath BA1 4AL
Proposal: Provision of new vehicular access

Ward: Weston
App Ref: 09/04118/REN
Registered: 29th October 2009
Expiry Date: 24th December 2009
Location: 32 Cranwells Park, Lower Weston, Bath BA1 2YE
Proposal: Renewal of planning permission 04/02875/FUL (Erection of detached double garage)

Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Improvements to the weekly re-cycling collections

Bath & North East Somerset Council is expanding its same day weekly re-cycling service to include cardboard and most types of household plastic packaging such as pots, tubs, trays and bottles, starting from Monday 30th November 2009.

This is good news and in line with the Lib Dem’s zero waste policy.

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. There is also room on the bag for residents to write their address so that waste collectors know who to give a replacement bag to. Collection vehicles have been specially adapted to create extra space to fit the additional material in.

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.

However, there is still a refusal by this Conservative administration to collect 'kitchen' waste for composting. This Council is the only one of the four councils in the old Avon area that does not offer this service.

Kerbside collection of 'kitchen' waste is vital for reducing global warming, because this putrescent waste creates methane, the most damaging global warming gas, in landfill. This administration has scheduled this collection for autumn 2011. The Lib Dems, who would have introduced 'kitchen' waste collection in 2008, call on the Tories to include this service in their budget for 2010.

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 e-mail

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

Council Connect complaints for September

The September 2009 figures for calls/e-mails to Council Connect are now out.

Logged this month:

Out of the scope of Council Connect...5
Traffic and Transport...5

Still outstanding from previous months:

Out of the scope of Council Connect...15
Traffic and Transport...4

Once again the issue of waste and litter is top of the concerns in Weston.

You can email Council Connect to report any issues or concerns at

Don Foster 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.”