Monday, December 19, 2005
If so we want to know about it.
Although public transport is no longer under local authority control it is still important that your local council are kept aware of the problems which people face when trying to use public transport.
Councillor David Dixon (Lib Dem, Walcot) who also Chairs the Council's Planning Transportation Economy and Sustainability Overview and Scruntiny Panel would like to hear your concerns.
The website www.bathnestransport.blogspot.com has been launched by Cllr Dixon in order to act as a vehicle for residents to share their problems surrounding public transport.
Fed up with late buses? Fares too high? Buses too dirty? Please let us know about it! I will share these comments with the Planning, Transport, Economy and Sustainability Overview and Scrutiny Panel will also call for the companies which provide our public transport services to address these problems!
Cllr Dixon says, "To get a discussion item on the blog visitors must first email firstname.lastname@example.org and I will add this to the blog. Residents can then contribute to the discussion by adding a comment on the site. I hope that this can be used to an extent as evidence to give to operators and to be shared with my fellow councillors to highlight some of the issues which passengers have. Any praise for the services are also welcome and will be passed on."
Friday, December 16, 2005
Bath & North East Somerset Council has been rated a three star council by independent inspectors who say it continues to deliver high standards of service and is continuing to improve.
The council has been rated as three stars (out of a possible four) against a set of central government standards referred to as 'the harder test' that were specifically designed to be far more stringent than in previous years.
Cllr David Dixon said: “For Bath & North East Somerset Council to achieve a three star score is an excellent result, particularly as the assessment has been made much tougher this year. This is a credit to all staff.”
The Audit Commission’s report highlights the Council’s achievements against community priorities such as education, recycling, affordable housing, support for older people, increasing the use of public transport as well as reducing the fear of crime.
Cllr Colin Darracott said: “This independent assessment shows that Bath & North East Somerset Council continues to deliver good services which are value for money. It also says that the Council is continuing to improve standards.”
Tuesday, December 13, 2005
The works are to be carried out as part of the Surfacing 2005/ 2006 – Urban Contract which is currently underway and is due to be completed in January 2006. Works will include carriageway reconstruction and resurfacing, footway resurfacing and the renewal of road markings.
In order to balance the requirements of road users, retailers and residents, and to ensure that delay and disruption is minimised, it is anticipated that the works will be carried out during the following times:
0900hrs – 1700hrs Monday to Friday
Every effort will be made to minimise the noise and disturbance for local residents and the Council’s contractor will be encouraged to complete the contract at the earliest possible date.
As soon as a firm date for the works at
Monday, December 12, 2005
Councillor David Dixon has said, "The road scheme has so far been very much traffic orientated and somewhere along the line pedestrians have sadly been forgotten about. To cross from the Bathwick Estate to get to Great Pulteney Street, you have to use three seperate crossings and the layout is confusing for cars, cyclists and pedestrians. I hope that we can negotiate some solutions which would help all three." We would like your views at email@example.com or by calling 01225 462590.
Tuesday, December 06, 2005
The decision to create a lorry loading bay outside of Walcot Terrace on the London Road have been met with stiff opposition. The bay sees part of the pavement and a section of cycle lane removed to make way for a convenient “Pull in” for lorries.
Liberal Democrat Councillor David Dixon has said, “My main concern is that the loading bay does not warrant spending any money on it when there are other things we should be spending money on. Thomas Street, just opposite is crying out to be resurfaced, but they are not doing anything about that.”
This decision was by the Conservatives who stated at a meeting to review the decision led by Cllr Dixon that this loading bay would be the first of many across the city.
This loading bay would make it possible for a 44 tonne lorry to come and park on resident’s vaults, some of which are their kitchens and bathrooms.
This will only make life easier for the through traffic on the London Road and sacrifices a dedicated cycle lane and valuable footway outside of a listed terrace.
Friday, November 25, 2005
Working with the Community Safety and Drugs Partnership, Bath and North East Somerset Council’s Community Safety and Street Lighting Teams assessed and prioritised lighting from an existing list of 70 street lighting requests and eight schemes were chosen for funding. All schemes were assessed against specific community safety criteria addressing factors such as anti-social behaviour, nuisance and disorder.
Included in this, is improved lighting for Bedford Street
Work on installing the new lighting is expected to be completed by early spring.
Cllr David Dixon said, “This partnership approach to help improve the environment is an excellent example of Bath & North East Somerset Council providing communities with projects that really make a difference to people’s lives. We propose to continue to work together to increase street lighting provision where it is most needed to help community safety”.
Improvements to the physical environment have a real impact on reducing crime and disorder. Street lighting in particular is a useful crime prevention tool helping to create safer and more secure environments for communities.
Friday, November 18, 2005
Bath and North East Somerset Council passed a motion on Thursday 17th November asking that the Executive Member for Economic Development writes to the Government expressing an interest in locating a Casino in Bath.
A casino could bring with it an opportunity to develop new conference facilities and attract more visitors to the area.
Your local ward councillors Colin Darracott and David Dixon would like to know what you think of such a proposal.
Monday, November 14, 2005
A scheme to provide new and improved lighting for the London Road has been drawn up and will be going out for consultation shortly.
The section of the London Road from Kensington Place to Lambridge is due to have street lights replaced. The new scheme has been designed to the new European Code for lighting and the opportunity taken to use a "white light" source. This will enable colours to be rendered at night which the current lighting does not do and will also make facial recognition much easier.
Cllr David Dixon welcomed the scheme stating, "The proposed scheme will contribute to a greater sense of well being at night, particularly when out walking. I am pleased that the proposed laterns are similar to those already installed in Cleveland Place and along the London Road as far as Kensington Place, the intention being to continue the style all along this route into the City."
The lanterns, being of a more modern design than the present fittings will provide better optical control in order to direct light onto the road and pavement and keep waste light output to a minimum.
Cllr Dixon has asked that officers send out a consultation document to residents, and would appreciate any feedback through www.walcot.blogspot.com or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Local Councillors Dave Dixon and Colin Darracott are campaigning with residents against a planning application to build 12 houses on the former allotment land at Southbourne Gardens.
Although the application was rejected first time it is now up for appeal and Cllrs Dixon and
Darracott are continuing to oppose it.
Cllr David Dixon said, “This is an important piece of open space and I have been working
with Bath and North East Somerset Allotments Association and local residents to look at how we get it back into public use.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
Follow this link for information of when and where roadworks - including maintenance works and resurfacing is taking place in the ward.
If you experience any problems during these works please do not hesitate to contact me on 01225 462590 or email@example.com
Monday, October 10, 2005
Congratulations to Charlie and Amanda for all their efforts in making the King William a fantastic place to meet people and have a drink or bite to eat.
If you would like to vote for the King William as Bath's Pub of the Year please follow this link.
Thursday, September 22, 2005
An excellent afternoon was had by all who attended the first meeting and activities of the Friends fo Kensington Meadows.
We started opening up a pathway within the Local Nature Reserve section so there can be a circular walk and we have two further sessions with BTCV available for Kensington Meadows so we can continue with it then. If the pathway is used and turns out to be wanted by users, we can get wood/bark chippings from the Parks department to lay over the cleared pathway as a mid-term surface and consider more a permanent surface for the future (something a new group could fundraise for - though improving entrances, litter bin at Morrison's and benches/picnic tables will be other items people are keen on). We were also litter picking, green waste clearance - where grass cuttings and other green waste have started to accumulate at either end - and had a guided walk by and ecology officer.
Deborah Jones has taken away ideas from the day and it is hoped that further events will take place on the meadows.
Monday, September 19, 2005
Highways Officers are currently drawing up plans to introduce Double Yellow Lines opposite the garages on Arundel Road in order to make life easier and safer for those using the garages and pulling out of their driveways opposite.
I have noted and reported the potholes on this very steep slope.
Residents’ Parking Scheme – Bathwick
Thank you to all residents who have contributed during the recent consultations. These plans are currently with the Council’s legal department who will issue a Traffic Regulation Order for the scheme. I have the details as a .pdf file if anyone would like it sent to them.
Thomas Street and Pera Road Area
Plans have been drawn up to introduced parking restrictions along Pera Road, Pera Place and at the top of Gays Hills to assist with access to these areas. We are still awaiting responses for Residents Parking Plans for which a questionnaire went to all houses last month. Ecehelon Parking may not work on Thomas Street as in order to mark out bays the Council has to give 2.8m x 5m per bay. There is not a problem if residents would like to set up an informal arrangement on Thomas Street to echelon park. I would recommend that this is on the west side of the street. Still trying to get funding to resurface Thomas Street.
Plans are being tweaked to include new parking restriction which were drawn up in consultation with Somer Housing and local residents. We will also be looking at parking restrictions at the junction of Snow Hill with Kensington Gardens to improve access and visibility.
Chilton Road is due to be resurfaced in October. This road has been in a particularly bad state for many years and this resurfacing is long overdue.
Wednesday, August 24, 2005
Notices will appear in the windows of the premises and in the Notices section of the Bath Chronicle. You can also follow this link to view all license applications that have been recieved so far by the Council. If you need any help in finding out more about a particular application please feel free to contact me on 01225 462590 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Monday, August 22, 2005
Councillor David Dixon has inspected the wall at Mezellion Place on Camden Road and has asked building control to inspect and repair the wall as needed.
The wall is currently in a poor state of repair and Somer Housing who are responsible for it’s upkeep will send someone from the Repairs Team to investigate.
As you will probably be aware, there is currently pedestrian access at each end of the Meadows but this involves those living close to the central area of the Meadows having to make a detour to gain access. These points coupled with the fact that we have to make regular repairs to the fencing has led me to send this letter to all residents living in the cul de sac asking for a response on whether you would welcome the installation of such an access or not. The access would take the form of a self closing kissing gate which allows a pedestrian to pass through but prevents access by vehicles and motorcycles.
Residents of 163 - 191 Ringswell Gardens will shortly receive a letter from the Council's Parks department asking of they have any objection to the proposal.
Tuesday, August 02, 2005
It has been raised that in nearby roads the parking situation has been exacerbated. Please keep me informed of any increases in cars parking in near by streets or other problems raised by this.
UPDATE - 02.08.05 A scheme has been drawn up for residents parking and will go out for consultation from Council Officers shortly. However, it appears that spaces would be lost if echeleon were introduced on Thomas Street as it is felt that parking in this formet would only be viable on one side of the road in order to leave room for turning out of parking bays. I would really appreciate resident's comments on this. - DD
Councillor David Dixon and Colin Darracott have met with officers on site at Thomas Street and Clarence Street to look at how to improve the roads around these areas. Councillor David Dixon said, “There have been issues surrounding these roads for years. In particular they have been under funded and poorly maintained for years and it is time that this is addressed.”
These roads suffer from a high level of homes with multiple occupancy, parking from commuters working within the city centre and on Thomas Street many vehicles not realising that it is not a through route.
Following the meeting with councillors and officers the following wheels are in motion and improvements should be seen soon.
A proposal is currently being drawn up which will investigate echelon parking in the left hand side (facing upwards) of Thomas Street – this should make it impossible to double park and hopefully create up to 6 more parking spaces.
Investigating the possibility of introducing a parking restriction on Pera Road.
Consultation with residents on extending residents parking scheme into this area.
An additional “No Through Road” sign will be added to the sign at the bottom of Thomas Street on the right hand side (facing upwards).
Alongside all of this your local Liberal Democrat Councillors have also pledged to make it a priority to seek funding to have Thomas Street and the roads surrounding it resurfaced. Colin and David would really like to know you views on this and encourage residents to contact them on 01225 462590 or by email on
After some negotiation with various departments within the Council, (and a little help from Ann Dunlop over the history of the pillars and indeed the railings), over whose responsibility the pillars are. I am please to inform that the Council's Property Services department have owned up to their responsibility and they will be inspected as soon as possible with a view in getting these repaired.
Reported today (Monday 11th July) that a contractor will be instructed to repair these. - DD
These have almost been fixed - contractors will be returning to finish the middle pillars. - DD
Monday, July 25, 2005
A travel plan is a package of measures which are tailored to the needs of individual work sites and aimed at promoting greener, cleaner travel choices and reducing reliance on the car. It involves the development of a set of initiatives and targets that enable organisations to reduce the impact of travel and transport on the environment, whilst also bringing a number of other benefits to employers and staff.
Currently employers may be asked to produce a travel to work plan by the Council when applying for planning permission for the property they are building or converting into suitable premises for their business, but how many employers produce a travel plan to benefit themselves and their workforce, or produce one to ensure that their staff are coming to work in a sustainable way?
A travel plan needs to contain a mix of incentives and disincentives such as car sharing, promoting more use of public transport, encouraging walking and cycling, restricting on-site car parking spaces and supporting alternative work practices which reduce the need to travel.
I know of one company which not only provides cycle racks, and showers for workers to freshen up before they start their day at work, but also encourages worker to purchase a bicycle through their company benefits scheme, making this friendly form of transport, appealing, accessible and financially attractive, and it is this form of forward thinking initiatives that Bath and North East Somerset Council should be recognising, championing and promoting.
The Planning, Transportation, Economy and Sustainability Overview and Scrutiny Panel, Chaired by myself will be looking at Employer Travel Plans as part of a 3 month review, and will lead by example, in revisiting, developing and looking at current practice of the Employer Travel Plan of the Council, gathering relevant national guidance and good practice guidelines, investigate other local authorities approach and look at existing Employer Travel Plans amongst employers in Bath and North East Somerset.
Roads in Bath and North East Somerset simply can not cope with anymore traffic and with much needed developments on the horizon such as Bath Western Riverside and Southgate which will bring a much needed boost to the area’s economy this does have to happen with minimal impact the volume of traffic on our roads. First are keen to invest in better and more user friendly buses for Bath and North East Somerset in order to encourage public transport and Bath and North East Somerset are looking at developing Park and Ride provision for the city, and this should be reflected in Employer Travel Plans as they are considered and more importantly reviewed. Travel plans should not be allowed to sit on the shelf as a document gathering dust but should be a working document which changes as new initiatives and more suitable modes of transport become available. More and more areas across the city are asking to be considered for Residential Parking Control in order to eliminate commuter parking and we will soon see free commuter parking spaces removed from Royal Victoria Park.
If employers do and the Council do not work together on this issue the likelihood is that staff will find it increasingly difficult to get to work and Bath and North East Somerset will become a less attractive place to locate a business, which will have a knock on effect on the economy. People need to get out of their cars and get to work by more sustainable methods, the lead on this should come from the Council working in partnership with employers. This is why this review is being undertaken to ensure that the Bath and North East Somerset Council is ready to give good advice and guidance.
We will be inviting local employers to come and speak to the panel about their Employer Travel Plans and the benefits it brings to them and will be looking at how we can encourage employers to develop their own plans. We also would like to hear views from all residents on travel plans by writing to, Cllr David Dixon, Employer Travel Plan Review, The Guildhall, High Street, Bath, BA1 5AW or by email: email@example.com.
Tuesday, July 19, 2005
Within a week of asking the question at Full Council Meeting Councillor David Dixon has received a response that Adshel will commence work to replace it within the next 4 weeks.
The Shelter has been missing for some time and is part of the showcase bus route.
Tuesday, July 05, 2005
The development has seen overwhelming opposition from local residents and local councillors a like. It is too close to local residents houses, too close to the city centre, to be located in an already congested are which will only exacerbate the problems and is too small and too expensive to have any impact.
Campaigners fighting plans for a new park and ride on the edge of Bath are stepping up their efforts after discovering it has doubled in cost. The original bill for the long-awaited Lambridge park and ride was £2.9m - but the council project will now cost £6.6m.
Opponents say this means each of the new parking spaces at what is now Bath Rugby's training ground will cost £12,000.
Many local residents say the scheme, which will create 800 parking spaces, is in the wrong place and will aggravate rather than solve congestion and pollution.
Local councillor David Dixon (Lib Dem, Walcot) said: "It seems to be a very expensive way to park cars."
The cost is made up of £4.2m for preparation and construction of the site, where a major flood prevention project is needed, and £1.3m for the relocation of the Bath Rugby facilities to Bathampton Meadows.
Some parking spaces will be lost from the city centre once the scheme is completed.
Monday, July 04, 2005
Hidden away in Bathwick, on the banks of the River Avon, is possibly the only surviving Georgian lido in the country. Closed over twenty years ago, the Cleveland Pleasure Baths were at one time a favourite summer destination for generations of Bathonians. Now, spurred on by plans to sell the site, a campaign is underway to re-open the pools for public bathing.
Local Councillors are very supportive and would like to see these pools come back into public use. The pools have been taken off the market on the request of local councillors and we are working with the local residents to look at how we can achieve a more suitable use. Councillor David Dixon said, “It would be a shame to let this fine example of our heritage to fall into private hands and to be closed off to the public.
But, year after year, there is the social responsibility of adding to the pot in order to make the neighbourhoods in which we live a better place, or sometimes in order to maintain them as they are. Some people believe that for what we pay in council tax we only get our bins emptied and many would argue otherwise.
As a council, we spend taxpayers' money on many services educating our young and old, resurfacing roads, looking after old people, investing in the economy of Bath and north east Somerset and by attracting new and exciting developments. We also try to attract businesses to move to and stay in Bath and ensure that new and old buildings are kept to the highest standard. Then there is the sweeping and maintaining the appearance of our streets. The list goes on.
Just look at some of the achievements over the past years which can be built on with more involvement from our residents.
For the environment we have introduced garden waste and cardboard recycling, we now recycle batteries, having introduced litter fines as part of a litter reduction strategy.
We are building two new schools in Radstock, a state-of-the-art special needs school at St Martin's Garden and a new school in Keynsham while a review is currently drawing to a close on primary schools meals with the positive engagement of various interest groups in order to secure a well balanced diet for our children giving them the sort of healthy start in life that every child deserves.
We introduced the bus gate in Bath which has resulted in reducing congestion, making the city centre a better place to live, work and visit. Bus usage is on the up and we are encouraging better quality buses from First.
We are developing Southgate and Western Riverside which are set to boost the wealth of this area not just economically but also socially with the many amenities and facilities such as cafes, apartments, transport interchange that are in the plans.
We have introduced and developed the community warden scheme which is valued in the community, improving safety for our residents.
And we have delivered some of the lowest council tax increases in the south west. Yet all of these successes require B &NES Council to spend your money. Again the list really does go on.
We all know that we elect councillors to make decisions for us but when was the last time the council or any councillor asked you for your views on how we spend our money?
Do you know how much the Bath and North East Somerset Council spends on services? We all receive a leaflet with our council tax bill, but is that enough?
Has the council engaged the public enough when setting its budget? I do not think so.
Different methods across the country are used to consult with the taxpayer such as, referenda, questionnaires and focus groups, but the question is what works and was it worth the money consulting with residents?
As chair of one of the council's overview and scrutiny panels which reviews council priorities and policies, I notice that it is sometimes the same groups of people who come forward to share their thoughts and ideas. With ever-increasing pressures on council services and not enough money coming from Government to support these extra pressures, council tax is set to always increase or services are set to be cut. I believe that the Bath and North East Somerset Council needs to ensure that we involve as many tax payers as possible when making these decisions.
I think it is worthwhile asking residents how they would like to be involved. That is why I have initiated a review to look at how we engage the public and we would like your views on how we should do this. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org or attend the public meeting at the Guildhall on Wednesday at 9.30am and tells us what you think.
The residents received the backing of a number of councillors and had the decision called in, meaning that it would be reviewed by the council.
However, at a meeting held earlier this month, the council's planning, transportation, economy and sustainability overview and scrutiny panel dismissed the call-in after hearing evidence from council officers, councillors and Bathwick residents.
Although the councillors on the panel agreed unanimously to reject the call-in, they made several recommendations to Cllr Sir Elgar Jenkins, the executive member for transport and highways, to help improve the consultation process in the future and make it more user-friendly for the public.
These included asking the executive member to review how much weight was placed on residents' views when considering the introduction of similar policies. They also asked for general leaflets to be drawn up for the public, explaining how the council reached its decisions.
In their ruling, the panel also said they would review the Bathwick decision in 12 months' time.
Resident Peter Try said: "While we are disappointed the panel rejected the call-in, we are pleased the panel made recommendations which will help improve the process in the future and make it more user-friendly for the public.
"In particular, we welcome the council's commitment to consider how much weight is placed on residents' wishes and to review this individual decision in a year.
"We are now looking forward to working with the parking team to explore how the scheme should be implemented and its performance monitored."
Cllr David Dixon, chair of the scrutiny panel, said: "Sometimes decisions are made that may not be popular with all residents and this is the case here.
"The panel could not, however, find any reason to uphold the call-in, as the current procedure has been followed, and we recognise that the council does more than is statutorily necessary.
"It is more important now than ever, that we consult more and help residents understand the process as the cost of public services are ever increasing. Residents, quite rightly, should be involved in our decision-making processes."
Cllr Jenkins first approved plans to implement the restrictions at the end of May.
Saturday, July 02, 2005
Members of the Riverside Community Association, which was set up two years ago to support the Bath and North East Somerset Council-run venue, are busy planning the day although a date has still to be made.
It is hoped the day will bring forward people who have never visited the centre, hidden behind the Porter Butt pub on London Road, and that they could bring fresh ideas for activities to be held there in the future.
Three years ago the centre lost out in a bid to become a Healthy Living Centre, which led residents and business people to join forces and the Riverside Community Association to try to promote the venue and safeguard its future.
The association was also established to show the council that people in the area were interested in the facility and determined not to lose it.
The council's youth service has now taken on the venue and a range of organisations use it, including the London Road Food Co-operative and Bath Toy Library.
Association chairman David Dixon, who is also the ward councillor, said: "I am pleased to see the centre being well used and to see youth provision back at the Riverside."
Gareth Jones, B&NES principal youth and community official, said: "We are looking to develop a lot of things at Riverside - maybe a music studio, or maybe we could take advantage of it being on the river bank."
For more information about the open day contact David Dixon on 462590 or 07900 974975.