Monday, 5 July 2010

PACT meeting minutes

The minutes of the Newbridge and Weston PACT meeting (Partners and Communities Together) held on 8th June are now available.
You can read them at

Advice Surgery

New in Weston from July is a monthly advice surgery. Terry and Michelle will be at the Scout Hut (Pinocchio's Day Nursery) on the High Street on the third Saturday of every month. These advice surgeries are open to any residents of Weston who wish to obtain information and advice, make a complaint or enquire about any of the services that the Council provides.

You don't need to make an appointment to attend these surgeries - just turn up on the day. The first surgery will be held on Saturday 17th July at 10.30am.

Saturday, 5 June 2010

The Weston 2010 Open Garden Event

The 2010 Open Garden Event will be held on Sunday 13 June from 1.00pm to 5.00pm
Entrance £5 on the day (£4 in advance)
Entrance Tickets are on sale at Kit Johnson & Weston Fruit Stores, High Street Weston. On the day Entrance Tickets can be bought at the All Saints Centre & at any of the Gardens.
Apthorp Weston Road - Lunches & Teas
94 Broadmoor Lane - Teas
21 Brookfield Park
15 Combe Park
39 Combe Park - Teas
119 High Street
2 Harcourt Gardens
19 Harcourt Gardens - Teas
33 Lucklands Road - Ice Creams & lollies
24 Vernslade
Weston Lawn Lucklands Road - Teas
Also at Apthorp - Ploughman's Lunches from 12.30pm, Jazz Singing at 2.00pm & 3.30pm,
Weston Village Gardening Club Stand and Club Plant Sale.

You can find out more about the Weston Village Gardening Club at their excellent website

Next PACT meeting Tuesday 8th June

The next PACT meeting (Partners and Communities Together) will be held at 7.00pm at the Weston Methodist Church, Kennington Road, Lower Weston.

PACT gives you the opportunity to influence what happens in your neighbourhood. It is a mechanism whereby neighbourhood issues, identified through local meetings, are taken to a partnership panel, where courses of action are agreed.

Current public priorities agreed 9th February 2010

1. Traffic management issues - Traffic speeds on approach to pedestrian crossing, lack of signage advising of elder pedestrians, consideration of 20 mph “Hospital Zone” limit – Combe Park.

2. Traffic Management Issues - Traffic speeds on approach to pedestrian crossing, and in the one way road system along with general pedestrian safety - High Street, Weston.

3. Traffic management issues - abuse of double yellow lines either side of entrance to “Tesco” car park and of disabled bay – High Street, Weston.

You can find out more about the PACT Weston beat at

Saturday, 15 May 2010

A personal note from Don on the coalition

"Taking the decision to work with the Conservatives was not easy. I have fought against them for my entire political career. Nonetheless, when it was explained to the parliamentary party the deal we had been offered, not one of us felt able to turn it down.

I fought this election on Liberal Democrat policies: fairer taxes helping lower and middle-income earners; extra investment in schools; a new green, sustainable economy; and reform of the political system, including an elected upper house.

All these policies, and many more, are included in the coalition agreement we have signed with the Conservatives. After well over half a century outside of government, Lib Dem policies are now going to be implemented. We have seats around the cabinet table and real power.

Of course, we have had to compromise on some of our manifesto points, and in some areas we will still be able to oppose proposals in parliament. For example, we will still be arguing that we do not need the like-for-like replacement of Trident.

The Lib Dems have long argued for proportional representation, which would regularly lead to coalition government. At this election our discredited system has provided us with a hung parliament. We could have walked away and refused the compromise, but this would have weakened our position on proportional representation for future elections. Proving that coalition government can be strong, stable government will prove to sceptics that this can be done, and that coalition governments in the future are nothing to be afraid of. The alternative would have been a Tory minority government. A deal with Labour simply wasn’t on the table.

Finally, I know despite this that many of you might be uneasy about doing a deal with the Conservatives. I fully understand your point of view. I hope that, like me, you are able to conclude that we have done what is right for the country, but also that we now have the issues and principles we have fought for many years for actually being carried out in government".

You can read the full coalition agreement at

Planning applications registered in March & April

App Ref: 10/01280/FUL
Registered: 19th March 2010
Expiry Date: 14th May 2010
Location: 80 Brookfield Park Upper Weston Bath BA1 4JJ
Proposal: Conversion and extension of existing dwelling to provide a block of 4 apartments (Resubmission).

App Ref: 10/01133/FUL
Registered: 26th March 2010
Expiry Date: 21st May 2010
Location: 3 Duncan Gardens Upper Weston Bath BA1 4NQ
Proposal: Enlargement of existing dormer to rear of roof.

App Ref: 10/01365/REN
Registered: 30th March 2010
Expiry Date: 25th May 2010
Location: 158 Southlands Upper Weston Bath BA1 4EB
Proposal: Renewal of application 07/00664/FUL (Erection of a two storey side extension after demolition of existing store)

App Ref: 10/01641/FUL
Registered: 14th April 2010
Expiry Date: 9th June 2010
Location: 8 Purlewent Drive Upper Weston Bath BA1 4AZ
Proposal: Provision of a rear balcony and a pitched tiled roof over existing two storey side extension to replace existing flat roof

App Ref: 10/01560/FUL
Registered: 15th April 2010
Expiry Date: 10th June 2010
Location: 3 Broadmoor Vale Upper Weston Bath BA1 4LP
Proposal: Erection of a two storey rear extension

App Ref: 10/01734/FUL
Registered: 26th April 2010
Expiry Date: 21st June 2010
Location: 12 Cranwells Park Lower Weston Bath BA1 2YD
Proposal: Erection of a two storey side extension incorporating a garage following demolition of existing single storey side extension.

App Ref: 10/01775/FUL
Registered: 4th May 2010
Expiry Date: 29th June 2010
Location: 17 Purlewent Drive Upper Weston Bath BA1 4AZ
Proposal: Erection of first floor rear and side extension.

Details of all these planning applications can be found online at

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Weston post office consultation begins

Consultation on the long-term future of Weston post office begins today for 6 weeks, finishing on 22nd June.

Post Office Ltd is proposing a move to a new site in Weston, alongside the current Premier Stores at the other end of Weston High Street to the current branch.

Bath MP Don Foster said, “It is great news for Weston that Post Office Ltd has found a new site at the heart of the village to guarantee the long-term future of the branch. The post office is an important part of the local community. I know that local traders in Weston have suffered since the post office closed, and they will want the new branch open as soon as possible.”

This is a positive step forward for Weston, the long-term future of the post office is key for this area.
Maintaining the service in the heart of the village is crucial, and I hope that residents will support this proposal and that the service is able to open as soon as possible.

Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Secondary school consultation - public meeting dates set

The dates for the public meetings, which form part of Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Secondary school consultation, have now been set.

The meetings form part of the wider consultation where parents, teachers and pupils have the chance to have their say on proposals outlined in Bath and North East Somerset Council’s Secondary Review.

Dates for public meetings are as follows:

Tuesday 11 May, Wellsway School, 7pm
Tuesday 18 May, Broadlands School, 7pm
Wednesday 26 May, St Keyna Primary School, 7pm

Tuesday 12 May, St Mark's C of E school, 7pm
Wednesday 19 May, Oldfield School, 7pm
Thursday 20 May, Culverhay School, 7pm
Tuesday 25 May, Guildhall, Brunswick Room, 7pm

Consultation – began on 31 March 2010 and will end 28 May 2010

Decision on proposals – Cabinet will make a decision on the proposal on 21July 2010.

How to give feedback on the proposals
Consultation booklets which give details of the proposals have been distributed to all schools and also to wider stakeholders in Bath and Keynsham and are available online.

Everyone with an interest in the education of our young people can comment on the proposals by email, letter or online. For more information visit and navigate to the School Consultation documents through the ‘have your say’ section on the homepage.

Friday, 30 April 2010

Overhanging trees in The Weal

Following recent doorstep conversations in The Weal some residents expressed concern about the trees overhanging the road, pavement and in some cases front gardens.
In the autumn gales some of these branches will fall and the consequences may be serious.

I shall be lobbying the Council to deal with this issue and remove branches which they consider dangerous or potentially dangerous.

As far as I know the trees are not Council property but the Council does have a duty of care towards persons and property using The Weal which is a public road.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

Now we know what the Conservatives are up to in Eastfield Avenue – nothing

I have had a reply to my letter to Charles Gerrish (Conservative Cabinet Member for Customer Services) querying the inclusion of a statement in the Conservative newsletter that “A one-way system on Eastfield Avenue is being explored” (See my blog dated 20th March).

According to his latest letter, the Council “…..did not suggest that a one-way system had been indefinitely ruled out or that the Council was closed to the possibility….”
This is the oldest trick in the book – never say never, that way the Council can get away without doing anything but still pretend that they are exploring / considering / evaluating / thinking / investigating / etc, any particular subject.

In other words, the answer to the three possibilities a), b), or c) raised in my blog is:
c) Conservatives are being economical with the truth in their newsletter and have absolutely no intention of exploring the one-way system. They just want to sound as though they are doing something.

Pot holes in Lucklands Road

The Council is working it's way through the backlog of road repairs in Bath but I have now asked the Council to raise the priority of the work involved in repairing pot holes at the lower end of Lucklands Road, Weston.

This road has some of the worst examples of pot holes that I have seen in residential streets anywhere in the country. In fact, the whole of the surface at this end of the road is in a very poor state and needs urgent action now before it resembles a road from a third world country.

Sections of the road have been sprayed so presumably there is a plan to repair the road in due course but it is the priority which I am asking the Council to consider more closely.

I'm surprised that Weston's Conservative Councillors do not seem to have the clout to get this work prioritised.

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Election well under way

The General Election is now well under way with Lib Dems out in force across all wards in Bath talking to residents on the doorstep, listening to their views and putting forward our Lib Dem proposals.
We have been out canvassing in Weston and will continue talking with residents right up to election day.

If you are able to help in any way - delivering leaflets, helping out at the Lib Dem office - you can contact me at or contact the Lib Dem office at or telephone 01225 316316.

You can read or download the Lib Dem manifesto at

You can find out more about the election in Bath by visiting the Council's website or telephone 01225 477333.

If you are eligible to vote but have not yet registered, you have until Tuesday 20th April to do so. Details on the Council's website.

You can also apply for a postal or proxy vote - the deadline is also Tuesday 20th April.

If you would like to help the Lib Dem effort by putting up a window poster or by having a stakeboard in your front garden, please let me know -, or telephone 01225 426149 or 07521 363046

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

Pot holes in Lansdown Lane

Thanks are due to my colleague and councillor for Odd Down, Nigel Roberts, who has lobbied the Council to repair pot holes including those at the bottom of Lansdown Lane.

Saturday, 20 March 2010

Eastfield Avenue - what are the Conservatives up to?

Readers of this blog will recall Lib Dem efforts to introduce a one-way system on a part of Eastfield Avenue between Weal Terrace and Haviland Park in the direction of bus travel (See this blog 10th Feb 2010). We conducted a street survey involving 110 residents in Eastfield Avenue. 69% of those who replied were in favour of the one-way system.
I wrote to Charles Gerrish (Conservative Cabinet Member for Customer Services) asking the Council to look into the matter.
This met with a flat refusal to even bother to investigate our proposals, completely ignoring the wishes of local residents.
I am therefore more than surprised to read in the recent Conservative newsletter 'Weston Matters' that "A one-way system on Eastfield Avenue is being explored"
This suggests to me that either:
a) Conservative councillors in Weston have no idea what's going on in their area or
b) Conservatives are trying to steal our idea and take the credit (not for the first time) or
c) Conservatives are simply lying in their newsletter and have absolutely no intention of exploring the one-way system. They just want to sound as though they are doing something.
Come on councillors Malcolm Lees and Colin Barrett - I know you read my blog - perhaps you can inform our readers which of the above applies.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Pedestrian crossing - Lansdown Lane

The crossing at the lower end of Lansdown Lane in Upper Weston provides an extremely useful facility for pedestrians across what is now a very busy main road.

However, many local people have expressed concern that there is no additional lighting at the site. There is only standard street lighting in the vicinity of the crossing making it potentially dangerous at dusk and at night.

On many pedestrian crossings there is additional lighting which provides for a much safer crossing environment.

I have asked the Council to investigate and hopefully instigate additional lighting at the site or inform me as to reasons why additional lighting is not needed.

As usual I'll keep the blog updated with the Council's response.

Saturday, 6 March 2010

Planning application

App Ref: 09/04872/REG03
Registered: 5th February 2010
Expiry Date: 7th May 2010
Location: Weston All Saints Ce Vc Primary School Broadmoor Lane Upper Weston Bath Bath And North East Somerset
Proposal: Erection of key stage 2 building and link to key stage 1 building with associated external works and landscaping following demolition of existing key stage 2 building and alterations to key stage 1 building.

View planning application here

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Pamper Evening and Entrepreneurs' Sale at WASPS

Weston All Saints Primary School will be holding a Pamper Evening and Entrepreneurs' Sale on March 18th from 7pm to 9pm.
Tickets cost £2.50 which includes a free goodie bag and free cupcake.
Please support the event which is aimed at helping to raise funds for an on-site swimming pool which will be a fantastic resource for the school and hopefully encourage large numbers of local children to swim.

Weston Post Office opens

Weston Post Office finally opened today after being closed for more than 8 months.
This is a temporary arrangement until a long term solution can be found.
Terry and Michelle together with Bath MP Don Foster have been lobbying Post Office Ltd to re-open the branch ever since the closure was announced and are delighted that all the hard work has paid off.
In 2008 campaigning led by Don and the Liberal Democrats helped to save post offices in Lower Weston and Bear Flat.
We all know how much the post office means to the local community and residents throughout Weston will be pleased to hear the news.

This blog will keep you updated on the long term future of the post office with news updates as we get them.

Monday, 1 March 2010

Council Connect data for Weston

Calls or e-mails to Council Connect in January for Weston were as follows:

Complaints:9 logged - 9 closed, 2 still outstanding
Highway management:41 logged - 7 open, 34 closed, 38 still outstanding
Neighbourhood services:9 logged - 2 open, 7 closed, 16 still outstanding
Libraries:2 logged - 2 closed
Traffic & transport:3 logged - 3 closed, 4 still outstanding
Waste:175 logged - 64 open, 111 closed, 200 still outstanding
Out of the scope of the scheme:16 still outstanding

You can email Council Connect to report any issues or concerns at or telephone Council Connect on 01225 394041

Newbridge and Weston PACT meeting

The last PACT meeting (Police And Communities Together) for Newbridge and Weston took place on Tuesday 9th February at St John's hospital.
Minutes of these meetings can be found on the Avon and Somerset Police PACT website at
The documents are in alphabetical order - scroll down to M - Minutes of PACT meeting Newbridge and Weston.
The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday 8th June, venue TBD.

Food waste collection - at last

The collection of food waste as a separate waste stream is something that was planned for introduction in the spring of 2008. The incoming Conservative administration put this off until autumn 2011. Now under continuing pressure from the Liberal Democrats they have brought this forward to this autumn.
This delay has been part of the reason for the rapid growth over the last two years of the seagull population. Many residents have had their black plastic bags ripped open by seagulls and other animals creating a litter mess in the streets. Collecting food waste separately also has the hidden benefit that residents actually waste less food as they see just how much they are throwing away.
Food waste collections go live in October
Residents will be able to recycle their food waste weekly in secure, lockable containers from autumn 2010 following an £800,000 investment by Bath & North East Somerset Council to make the recycling service even more comprehensive and tackle some of the causes and effects of climate change. Food waste makes up a third of all household waste and gives off methane, a potent greenhouse gas, when it is sent to landfill.
Similar schemes operate successfully in local authorities nationwide. Across the country 80% of people support food waste collections and local residents have been asking when they can start to recycle their food waste. The new recycling collection vehicles operating since November can easily be modified by recycling contractor May Gurney to start collecting food waste from this autumn.
Residents can find out more by going to and in the meantime they can learn how to turn leftover food into a delicious meal by viewing a short video at

Holcombe Green

Work to demolish ‘concrete-cancer’ ridden homes in Holcombe Green is now well under way. The stricken homes were built of pre-cast reinforced concrete after the war and as a result of structural problems either in the concrete used in the construction, or due to corrosion of the steel reinforcement inside the concrete, the properties have been classed as technically defective.
44 new homes will be built between September 2010 and April 2011 and will be a mix of one and two bedroom flats and two and three bedroom houses. Some will be offered through one of two schemes which help people to eventually buy their homes on a shared ownership basis.
Similar work will take place in parts of Southlands and is scheduled for completion in the spring of 2012.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

New hope for Weston post office

As we all know, the post office failed to open on 11th February.
In their recent communication to Bath MP Don Foster at the Liberal Democrat office, Post Office Ltd said:
The Post Office alarm system that was installed in the premises at 7 High Street Weston has been badly damaged by the landlord's builders. This was not notified to anyone on Post Office Ltd's side nor to the temporary subpostmaster in her discussions with the landlord and hence was only discovered when we visited last week to get the branch ready for re-opening.”
We have called on Post Office Ltd. to rectify the situation as soon as possible although it seems that they are now waiting for staff to come and fix the alarm system.
Meanwhile, Bath MP Don Foster has learnt that there is now an official application in to run the post office branch in Weston in the long-term.
For commercial reasons, Don has been asked not to name the business that has applied, but can reveal that they have been involved in the process for a while.
We are delighted to learn that they have got this bid back on track and now have a formal application in. This is promising news for the future of the service in Weston.
The bidder will now go forward to an interview process.
The application, if successful, would involve a change of site for the branch, and so there would be a period of public consultation before opening could be confirmed.
A short deadline has now been set on another interested party to complete the application, and then the interview stage will follow soon after that.
Don is still pressuring Post Office Ltd to get the temporary service on the current site open as a top priority, but it is important to sort out the long-term future of this branch.

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

Conservatives say 'no' to one way proposals

The Conservative council has again blocked Liberal Democrat plans to make part of Eastfield Avenue one way in the direction of bus travel. They have again ignored local resident’s wishes to investigate the situation.
In a recent street survey, 69% of those who replied were in favour of the one-way option.
I am very disappointed that the views of local residents have again been ignored. The results of the street survey indicate the strength of feeling in the area regarding traffic flow in Eastfield Avenue.

Thursday, 4 February 2010

Temporary re-opening of Weston post office

The Weston post office is scheduled to re-open on the original premises on February 11th.
This is great news for all Weston residents and something they have long been waiting for. This will be a temporary arrangement until the long term future of the post office is sorted out.
The sole applicant interested in running the service - Nigel Chaplin, owner of Chaplins newsagents - is waiting to hear if his application has been successful.

Planning application

App Ref: 10/00039/FUL
Registered: 15th January 2010
Expiry Date: 12th March 2010
Location: 27 Vernslade, Upper Weston, Bath, BA1 4DN
Proposal: Erection of a lean to extension on side of dwelling following demolition of existing conservatory, erection of an replacement garage and widening of driveway
Officer: Victoria Griffin
Applicant: Miss Susan Scoble
Agent: Slade, Smith And Winrow

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Weston post office update

Weston residents are getting increasingly frustrated at the length of time it is taking to get the post office re-opened. There is currently just one applicant in the selection process - Mr Chaplin, owner of High Street newsagents Chaplins - but this application has been delayed.
Bath MP Don Foster continues to be in regular contact with Post Office Ltd and has put pressure on the company to provide a temporary licence for the post office.
A spokeswoman for Post Office Ltd said that she was concerned that local residents were frustrated at the time being taken. However, she said that it is important for the long term interest of any local service to ensure that the applications they receive are thoroughly assessed so that ultimately the right candidate is appointed.

Monday, 25 January 2010

Southland's residents hopeful of resolution to TV aerial problem

Residents in Southlands are hopeful of a resolution to the problem of faulty TV aerial boosters in their homes. Liberal Democrat MP for Bath, Don Foster, has written to Somer Housing in an effort to resolve the situation.

The fault has persisted for over a year and is denying residents access to terrestrial television channels. Residents have been repeatedly told that the firm which manages the equipment on behalf of Somer has claimed that it is awaiting replacement parts.

Local resident Mian Bashir said “This problem has persisted for over a year but at last it seems we may be able to get our TV aerial booster repaired thanks to Don's intervention".

An update on Weston post office

Bath MP Don Foster continues to be in regular contact with Post Office Ltd over the situation in Weston.

Don reports that:

There are two applications on the table. There is a deadline of this Friday to complete applications and submit them. If this deadline is met, interviews will take place shortly after.

Neither application relies on taking over the current site, which would mean a consultation period for the preferred venue. This means late April before any re-opening.

There is very real hope of opening the previous branch on a temporary basis. Hopefully more on this in the near future.

To view this article and other news go to Don Foster's website at

Thursday, 21 January 2010

Grit bins in Cranwells Park

After the bad weather we have been experiencing, unsurprisingly the grit bins at the top of Cranwells Park are empty. I have asked the council to come and re-fill them.

Some residents further down were concerned that should we get another cold snap, they will have difficulties getting out of their houses, as there is only one grit bin to cover the whole road, so Council Connect have now put in an application for a new bin to be installed (ref no 52768)


Wednesday, 6 January 2010

The Liberal Democrats are not for sale

If there is no party with an overall majority after the next general election, what will be the Lib Dems position?
Read Nick Clegg's interesting article in the Times for his views on this and other subjects HERE.

Monday, 4 January 2010

Planning application

Ward: Weston
App Ref: 09/04365/LBA
Registered: 9th December 2009
Expiry Date: 3rd February 2010
Location: Laura Lodge, Weston Road, Lower Weston, Bath.
Proposal: External alterations for repairs/replication of existing balcony and ironwork to front elevation.
Applicant: Mr Christopher Smith

Two applications in for Weston post office

Post Office Ltd have announced that two firm applications have now been received to run the closed Weston branch.

The news comes following the 16th December deadline for applications. Bath MP Don Foster had previously urged Post Office Ltd to work hard with potential applicants to help them meet this deadline after an initial date was missed.

Don said, “I’m pleased that Post Office Ltd have now put the effort in and have got two options for a new branch. Weston village needs its post office back as soon as possible, not just for residents but for other local businesses as well.

“It’s good news that Post Office Ltd have kept their promise to continue to work to open a replacement branch in Weston.”

Interviews for the post will take place on 12th January, and should the post office need to change location then there will be a consultation period.

Weston Lib Dem Campaigner Terry Randall added, "I know from talking to residents that they are desperate for a conclusion to this issue. However, with the possibility of consultation we might still be looking to March or April before this branch opens."

“Residents are questioning why a temporary service can’t be offered to fill the void.”

Nick Clegg to hold public meeting in Bath

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg will hold a public meeting in Bath on 7th January, to discuss with local people the issues that matter to them.

Since Nick became leader of the Lib Dems he has held well over 50 public meetings across the country, and anyone is free to attend at St Michael’s on Broad Street in the centre of Bath, start time 6.30pm.

Nick said, “It is now more important than ever for politicians to get out of Westminster and engage with people about how to rebuild our economy and restore trust in politics. I am looking forward to meeting the people of Bath and discussing the issues that matter most to them.”

If you’d like to come along and ask a question of Nick, then you can register your interest by going to