Monday, December 18, 2006

Have your say on the Expansion of Bristol International Airport

Bristol international airport is currently consulting on a large expansion to its operations.
Many of you have from time to time raised concerns about the airport and the flight paths.

If you wish to submit your views please check out these two websites to see the competing sides of the argument and click on master plan

and then email your views and comments to
North Somerset Council Ref 06/P/2701/MP at

by 22/12/6 - apologies for the short notice but this short notice has only just reached me.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Have your say on Bath and North East Somerset's Open Spaces

How far should people be expected to travel to get to their nearest park?
What do you think green areas should be used for?

These are just some of the questions being put to local people by Bath & North East Somerset Council.

The Council has been reviewing green space provision across the district to ensure that supply and quality matches the needs of the community. Individuals and groups are being consulted to find out about their use and expectations of different types of green areas, including parks and gardens, spaces for less formal activities, recreation grounds, natural areas (woodland, natural and semi-natural areas), allotments and spaces designed for children and young people.

Having completed a comprehensive assessment and audit of these types of green spaces, the Council has now drafted a Green Space Strategy for further consultation with the local community.

Cllr David Dixon, (Lib Dem, Walcot) says, "Our green spaces in Bath are what make this such a special place to live, in Walcot alone we have Kensington Meadows, Kensington Gardens Park, the green space at Highbury Villas, Southbourne Gardens to anem but a few. It is important that each serves a purpose to safeguard it against future development."

The Strategy will assist Bath & North East Somerset Council in protecting existing green space from development and identifying where the supply or quality of green space is low, so that resources and funding bids can be concentrated into these areas. A key part of the Green Space Strategy is the creation of minimum standards for green space provision that will be applied across Bath & North East Somerset. Public consultation on the proposed Green Space Strategy finishes on Friday, 22 December. During this time, the consultation documents and details on how to make a response will be available at: Trimbridge House, Bath; Riverside, Keynsham and The Hollies in Midsomer Norton, as well as Bath Central, Saltford and Radstock Libraries, and on the council

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Liberal Democrat Councillors get Composting

Councillor David Dixon has recently taken advantage of the superb offer that the Council has in partnership with the Waste and Resources Action Programme which offers residents of Bath and North East Somerset a compost bin from just £4.00.

Commenting on the use of his bin Cllr Dixon says, “This has been an excellent Liberal Democrat initiative and I feel that with all these things it is important that local councillors lead by example. In fact I have been very surprised by just how much less I put into our black bags which used to go to landfill, I now plan to use my own compost next year for our pot plants.”

To find out how to order your compost bin, visit or call 0845 073 2002.

Safer Roads for Snow Hill

In 2003 the Snow Hill Consultation focussed on a range of issues which the community wanted solutions to.

Some have already been delivered such as a new community facility at the Dover House Laundry and through working with Somer Housing local Councillors David Dixon and Colin Darracott are pleased that Centre Track was formed.

We have also seen electric key charging facilities at London Road Stores and new play equipment at the two play areas.

Local Liberal Democrat Councillors can also now confirm that improvements to the parking and roads at Snow Hill are also on the way.

After concerns raised by local residents Councillors Darracott and Dixon worked with Somer Housing to consult on a new crossing for Snow Hill and for a solution to slowing down traffic in order to make the area safer for all.

The plans are to change over the sides of the road that vehicles can park on and making the turn out of Saffron Court safer by moving the junction forward a little.

Cllr Colin Darracott said “I am really looking forward to these improvements going in soon. It will help to make sure that traffic is slowed down and that it is safer for young people to cross from one side of the road to the other.”

The Tories Think You're a Tosser

The Conservatives have launched a website which appears to label everyone who has taken on personal debt as a “tosser”.

The website, which purports to give advice to people facing debt problems, is thin on the ground when it comes to practical information.

After viewing the site Cllr David Dixon said: “The Tories simply don’t care about the people who are facing crippling personal debt, preferring instead to label them “Tossers”. I think its very sad that the Conservatives have been so callous in the face of what is a very real problem. Anyone who is worried about their levels of debt should contact their local Citizens Advice Bureau.

“This website proves that the Conservatives have no concept of what it’s like to live in modern Britain. It just goes to show that the Conservatives are the same elitist, callous, nasty party that they have always been”

Monday, December 04, 2006

Rooting for Tree Lined Avenues to be Restored (UPDATE)

The Council has now agreed to plant 6 more trees in the Bathwick Estate following pressure from Local Liberal Democrat Councillor David Dixon.

The 6 trees will be planted over the winter period and it is hoped that 6 more can be planted next year too.

Over 27 trees were noted to be missing earlier in the year and ater discovering that there was no budget in the Council to replace these, the Conservatives in charge of Transport passed the responsinbility for this to the Lib Dem controlled Parks Department and one of the Council's tree officers has worked with residents in the Bathwick Estate to locate missing trees.

Cllr Dixon said, "I am so pleased that we are able to get some more trees planted in this area, and I hope that we can continue to get more."

Sydney Gardens Traffic

Colin Darracott and David Dixon met with residents fro the Bathwick Estate this morning to look at issues surrounding the recently new traffic system at Sydney Gardens.

Problems still being faced include:

Issue tring to cross safely for pedestrians - the unnecessarily complex junction makes it difficult for pedestrians to cross smoothly, inparticular from the nirthern side of Beckford Road to the eastern side of Bathick Street as the system only allows you to cross one segment at a time - frustrated pedestrians are either taking 3 to 4 minutes to cross or simply go when they see it is clear - without knowing sometimes which direction traffic might next be coming from.

Poor drainage especially in the recent wet weather is also causing issues and in cases the actual crossing is blocked by rather large puddles.

Vehicles are still blocking the marked out crossings - this is particularly bad when it is a lorry which blocks the view completely.

The proposal which we will put forward is that some improvements in this area should continue to take place and that the half completed crossing on Beckford Road should be finished.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

SouthGate or Southgate?

Morley Fund Management and the Council want to rebrand the Southgate Shopping centre by giving it a capital G in the middle of it's name.


Note how SouthGate is spelt with a capital G in the middle – I am advised that this is part of the rebranding!

But do we like it? Is this a case of Marketing and Advertising gurus taking one step too far with our historic city? Or is this the new forward looking City we want? Take the survey below, and I will let the Developers know what we think!

View MicroPoll
Web Survey

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Back Lane at Kensington Gardens

After a number of residents had approached me about the amount of rubbish building up in this rear access lane Council officers have now distributed a letter reminding residents of their responsibility to keep these tidy and will be undertaking door knocking to help people recycling and produce less in their black bags.

Do you have a similar problem in your back lane? If so let us know!

Monday, August 07, 2006

Parking Survey for Thomas Street and near by areas

Due to the increased number of enquiries about residents’ parking, Councillor David Dixon and Colin Darracott, along with local residents are consulting again about the possible introduction of a Controlled Parking Zone (commonly referred to as residents’ parking) for the Thomas Street and surrounding areas. Residents are being urged to return their survey when they receive them.

The outcome of the last survey, undertaken in 2005, of the 62 returned questionnaires, the majority indicated that difficulties in parking occurred during the evenings and weekends (67.7% and 62.9% respectively) as detailed below:-

· 48.4% indicated it was difficult to park sometimes

· 45.2% thought residents parking was appropriate

· 38.7% considered it would not be appropriate

· 58.1% would like further investigations into the introduction of residents parking.

Since this survey we have seen the following:

  • Recent introduction of a Controlled Parking Zone in the Bathwick Estate
  • About to see new parking restrictions in Pera Road and Thomas Street (introduced to facilitate access for emergency vehicles)
  • Camden Road Area Residents Association have consulted and residents have voted FOR a Controlled Parking Scheme.

Some facts about Controlled Parking Zones

Hours of operation

Schemes operate between 8am and 6pm Monday to Saturday.


Currently the cost is £50 for the first car, and £75 for a second car.

Visitor permits of the old paper type (£5 for a book of 25) are each valid

for one day. People over 60 can receive up to 200 permits per household, those under 60 just 100 maximum per household. Under the new electronic scheme, visitor permits will be £5 for 250 hours, with up to a maximum of 1000 hours per annum (2000 hours per household for those over 60). The advantage of the electronic system is that if the visitor only stays 1 hour, only 1 hour is used up on the permit. With the old paper permit, using it for 1 hour would use it all up for the whole day. Under the new scheme, old-style paper visitors permits will still be available for those who prefer it. To qualify for a visitors permit, you do not have to have purchased a permit, all you have to be is a resident of the zone.

These fees cover initial set up costs, administration and to pay for Parking Attendants to patrol the areas in order to enforce the scheme. Controlled Parking Zones will not be introduced for free, and it is useful to note that it is illegal to set up schemes which aim to make a profit. Bath and North East Somerset’s policy is that controlled parking zone schemes should be self financing.


This scheme does not guarantee a parking space. It is applicable to residents and businesses within the zone only and is limited to a maximum of two cars per household. Certain users or organisations (such as Carers) can apply to the Council for special permits.

1. Do you support or object to the introduction of a Controlled Parking Zone within this area?



No opinion

id pl

2. How difficult is it to park in your street?:


A little

Not difficult

3. How many vehicles does your household have?






4. Do you have any off street parking, for example garage or driveway?



5. Do you run a business from home and need limited waiting to cater for visitors to your business?



id pl

6. Are you living in a property of multiple occupancy?



id pl

If yes how many people live in this property? ­­­­_______

If there is sufficient support for a Controlled Parking Zone, Councillor David Dixon will make a request to Bath & North East Somerset Council for this to be implemented.

Saturday, June 24, 2006



Friday, May 05, 2006

This week's planning applications submitted

Ward: Walcot App Ref: 06/01211/FUL


Registered: 30/03/2006 Expiry Date: 25/05/2006

Location: 26 Thomas Street Walcot Bath BA1 5NN

Grid Reference: 375276 165837

Proposal: Single-storey rear extension

Case Helen McCabe

Applicant: Emma Bristow Agent Name:

Applicant 26 Thomas Street Agent

Walcot Agent



Ward: Walcot App Ref: 06/01205/FUL


Registered: 29/03/2006 Expiry Date: 24/05/2006

Location: Garden Flat 3 Beckford Road Bathwick Bath BA2 6NH

Grid Reference: 375737 165436

Proposal: Single-storey rear extension

Case Andrew Ross

Applicant: C/O Agent Agent Name: SR Architects Ltd

Applicant Agent 6 Riverside Court

Lower Bristol Road



If you would like to find out more about a planning application, search for applications or comment on a planning application please click the Public Access Image on the left.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Rooting for Tree Lined Avenues to be Restored

A Campaign is under way to reintroduce tree-lined avenues in Bathwick. There are now gaps in the trees that line many of the streets in the area. It is thought that 27 trees are missing on the Bathwick Estate, with Powlett Road and Forrester Roads suffering along with Forrester Avenue, where there are 12 trees missing.
It is believed that many of the trees have been removed over the years, either during maintenance work or after being hit by cars. Cllr David Dixon, who represents Walcot ward on Bath and North East Somerset Council, said he was keen to see work take place."It is quite important to maintain these trees," he said. "I have asked the council what is going to happen and we are working to get them replaced."I am hoping for some good news on it later in the week. The trees make up the street scene and make it a nicer place to be."The Bathwick Estates Residents' Association has also welcomed any possible move forward."We have been trying for a few years to get these trees replaced," said a spokeswoman."Everyone in the area wants them replaced. They make it look much nicer and softer."Some of them are quite sizeable and the ones that have been replaced have been replaced with modern trees which cost less to maintain."If something is to be decided soon that would be great."

Snow Hill - Condensation and Mould

The tragic death of a Snow Hill resident in January has prompted local councillors to launch an investigation into how another tragedy can be avoided. Cllrs David Dixon and Colin Darracott, who both represent the Walcot ward, arranged a meeting with Somer Housing Group to look at the properties like the one that 24-year-old Laura Smith was staying in when she died.The Snow Hill resident's family were devastated to learn their asthmatic relation died in a flat riddled with damp.The young woman had been moved into the flat in November, and had complained to her family about the dampness in her flat.Cllr Dixon said Somer provided leaflets about what residents should do, and said there was help at hand if people contacted the housing association.He urged anybody experiencing problems to talk to Somer, or to contact him.

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Sydney Gardens Traffic Scheme

There was a productive site meeting with residents at the Sydney Gardens crossing. Among many issues and problems highlighted were, traffic travelling much faster through parts of the system, pedestrians mixing with traffic stood still on crossings and general confusion of when to stop or go.

Those in charge of transport and have been asked to revisit the scheme, with a view to making improvements. The view of the Conservative Executive Member for Transportation and Highways was that it is the fault of the drivers that this scheme does not work well, not the fault of the road layout itself. We await improvements. Meanwhile Cllr David Dixon has spoken to the Police to ask if in the meantime they would observe and advise motorists as to the purpose of hatched boxes, to ensure pedestrian safety.

Funding for Riverside Centre

Two bids for funding were made to the Safer Communities Initiative and both have been awarded. These are both related to the Riverside Youth and Community Centre, behind the Porter Butt on the London Road.

The awards are for the funding of a net for the basketball court to stop the ball going over into Weymouth Street, which means that young people using this facility will no longer have to leave the centre to get their ball back and residents no longer have to worry about damage to their cars, or intruders into their gardens.

The other award is to fund lighting along the dark access road to the centre, which has been an issue for many years and in the past has put off people using the centre in the evenings.

Tennis Courts at Sydney Gardens

After a local resident advised Cllr David Dixon, he has asked that Aquaterra replace the broken net on the tennis court in Sydney Gardens. Cllr David Dixon said, “It is very important that if these facilities are provided that they are kept in good working order. I do hope that Aquaterra replace these nets very soon so that our residents can make best use of this facility”.

Lighting for London Road

Most of the new street lights along the London Road are now in place. Cllr Colin Darracott said, “I know that residents will like the new street lighting, as it should improve the quality of lighting along the London Road and I feel that the design of the lights are in keeping with the area. It is important that we work hard to improve the London Road, after all it is the gateway to a World Heritage City.”

Lambridge Park and Ride

You may have already heard that the flood compensation works at Mill Lane were turn down by the Council’s Development Control Committee. This means that the Park and Ride at Lambridge can not go ahead. The Park and Ride at Lambridge would be a waste of valuable resources as it is simply too close to the City Centre, too small and would probably be full by 10am. It was noted that the traffic on the London Road would not decrease, but that any spare capacity would have been taken up by suppressed demand.

Cllr David Dixon said, “No one denies that there is not a need for a Park and Ride to the East of Bath, however £6.5million for a scheme which would do nothing to improve the London Road Area, to me does not represent value for money. Once the Car Park is full there will be serious overspill of parking into surrounding streets, would actually worsen the parking situation and increase rat running along through Fairfield Park and along Camden. The Park and Ride really needs to be further out from the City and not in the already congested zone.”

Proposed Parking Restrictions

There are proposals to introduce parking restrictions on Pera Road, Thomas Street, Snow Hill and Arundel Road.The restrictions on Snow Hill were extensively consulted on and drawn up in cooperation with Somer Housing last year. This includes the introduction of a Crossing Point on Snow Hill and hopefully the restrictions will help to slow down traffic flows and make life safer for residents crossing the estate.

We are very keen to receive comments from nearby residents on the rest of the proposals and I am able to send copies of these to any interested residents by email or by post. I would encourage all residents whether in favour for the proposals or not to comment. The quickest way for this is to send an email to (I would be grateful if you would copy us in… ).

As you nay know the Planning, Transportation, Economy and Sustainability Overview and Scrutiny Panel, Chaired by Cllr David Dixon has highlighted some gaps in the way the Council consults on Traffic Regulation Orders and that the role of Ward members is particularly important in advising residents of changes to their local area and feedback from effected residents is equally important.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Helping Residents Stay in Touch

Local Councillors can sometimes be accused of being distant from the people they are supposed to represent. But a pair of councillors who represent the London Road and Snow Hill areas have introduced a new scheme designed to help residents in their ward keep in touch.

Cllrs Colin Darracott and David Dixon, who represent the Walcot ward on Bath and North East Somerset Council, are busy delivering a rather unusual postcard to local homes.

Cllr Dixon said: "One thing we always find people saying is that they don't know how to contact us.

"So we came up with the idea of doing this contact card, which is like a postcard with our phone numbers and details on, as well as a handy year planner."

The councillors hope the cards will prompt residents to get in touch with them if they have any concerns or issues they wish to raise.

Bathwick Estate - Resident's Parking Scheme

It has now been agreed to introduce a Resident's Parking Scheme in the Bathwick Estate.

The scheme is likely to be in place by March and when introduced this area would be signed as Zone 10 and, with special authorisation from the Department for Transport, parking bays would not be formally marked out. It is furher proposed to provide some areas with “no waiting at any time” restrictions to improve visibility and to assist vehicles turning.

Cllr David Dixon said, "This area suffers from a high level of commuter parking, partly due to being the nearest area to the city centre without resident's parking. The problem is worsened by the lack of road space for vehicles, this why it is intended not to lose more spaces by not formally marking out parking bays. There is no firm date for the scheme to be installed as the Council is waiting to hear from Contractors, but I'm sure that it will not be long now."