Friday, September 28, 2007

Stop Conservative Plans for Homeless Shelter at Murder Spot

The new Conservative run Council along with Somer Housing want to build sheltered housing at 3 & 4 Longacre.

Despite offers on these buildings from businesses and an approach by local residents in the Snow Hill area to take over the buildings for community use, the Council has been working with Somer Housing to draw up plans for sheltered housing in this location.

This area is still a hotspot for drug dealing, the alleyway next to these buildings has been known for serious criminal offences including a high profile murder.Local councillors and residents are working hard to strengthen the community in and around Snow Hill, trying to promote a sense of place and well being.

This scheme would be a step back, increasing the turnover of local people to the area, putting at risk vulnerable people and exposing them to the risk of further drug misuse or crime.

Only two people can now put a stop to this, two Conservative Councillors from Chew Valley.

Sign our petition and help us pursuade them that this is not a good idea.

Floowing this link

Sunday, May 06, 2007


Thank you to all that went out on Thursday and voted!

Colin Darracott and I have been returned as your Councillors for Walcot Ward.

We knocked on almost every door on the run up to polling day and delivered far too many leaflets.

The final results were:

David Christopher DIXON
Liberal Democrats

Colin Gordon DARRACOTT
Liberal Democrats

Susan Elizabeth Francesca YUILLE
Conservative Party

Conservative Party

Green Party

Patrick Michael MCCARRON
Labour Party

Bernard William MORGAN
Labour Party

Across the district the Conservative Party gained 5 seats, now holding 31 seats on the Council, two short of the 33 needed to take overall control of the Council.

The Liberal Democrats lost 3 seats - leaving us with 26 seats overall.

Labour lost 2 seat - giving them five seats overall.There are 3 independent Councillors.

The Council is still in no overall control and the Conservatives are now the largest party. We wait to see how they decide to make up an administration.

Colin and I look forward now to continuing the good work we have started in Walcot.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Every Vote Counts

We have had a great reception while out and about knocking doors in Walcot.

Residents have told us just how much they appreciate the hard work and committment that Colin and I have shown the ward over the past 4 years in Walcot.

As always the election in Walcot will be close between us the the Tories and every vote for Colin and I will count.

People are telling us that they are voting Lib Dem because of our local record of acheivement. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Riverside Youth and Community Centre
    Investment of £130k, the new access road is on the way in a couple of months and we and the Youth Club back up and running there, along with a new recording studio for youth people and soon we hope to have a canoeing club.
  • Kensington Meadows
    The Liberal Democrats funded a Countryside Management Officer to bring the communtity together the set up a Friends Group for the Meadows, we now have regular activity and we worked with young people to apply for funding for goalposts, which are now in place and a free coaching session will take place in June.
  • Snow Hill
    Working with Somer Housing we have two new play areas, a new community resource centre at the old Dover House laundry, a new road layout and crossing as a reult of consultation with local residents in 2003.
  • Bathwick Estate
    New trees for the area which replace those which have been removed over time, we hope to have more soon. Cleveland Pools has not been sold off to a private developer and we are working with an active Trust Group to look at how we can bring them back into public use while respecting the views nd needs of local residents.
  • Sydney Gardens
    We are now working with te Sydeny Gardens Residents' Association to bring into action a plan for improvement. We will next be looking at applying for funding to replace dated play equipment. Working with the police to step up patrols to reduce anti social behaviour.
  • Southbourne Gardens Allotments
    Colin has worked very closely with residents groups to help fight off a planning appliaction here for 12 houses. We have officers working on a plan to compulsary purchase this land and hand over to the residents to use a allotment land and open space.
  • Parking
    Working with residents from Camden down to the London Road we are close to having a workshop led by the hoghways department to look at the advantages of a scheme in this area.

These are just some of the highlights add in to this over 600 individual pieces of casework for local residents, including having potholes and roads repaired, helping residents through the Council's planning system, general enquiries, litter and street sweeping issues and helping get backlanes cleared. We believe that we have a good news story to give in every part of the ward.

Sunday, April 22, 2007

Independents can't find their way...

Out canvassing in Bathwick Estate this morning and the best part for me was chatting to a resident who told me that she was voting for the independent candidate and then to find out that Annette Martin (standing in Bathwick) had been door knocking in Walcot!

The independents pose no threat in Bathwick Ward if they can't find it!

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Litter Pick - Riverside Youth Centre

This morning we had a good team of us help to litter pick the access road down tot the Riverside Youth Centre.

When we arrived we found lots of this...

With help from these guys...

We left it like this...

Monday, April 16, 2007

Trash-Off Kensington Meadows – Litter Pick Sunday 15 April

Eleven volunteers came out in the morning sun to help launch Friends of Kensington Meadows’ and London Road & Snow Hill Partnership’s programme of 2007 litter picks on Sunday 15 April. You see nine of us in the picture. Janice and Chris joined later.

Our litter picks are part of CSV’s Action Earth 2007 campaign and featured on CSV’s website We will receive a grant from CSV (Community Service Volunteers) for materials, which should enable us to continue keeping the Meadows clean, especially with such excellent support from the community.

Action Earth 2007 is also supported by Morrison’s Supermarket, which happens to be next door to the Meadows.

We recycled six bags of glass bottles and aluminium cans in Morrison’s recycling centre, and bagged up around 20 other bags of general rubbish. Morrison’s supplied many of the bags and took some for disposal. Most were left at the Kensington Place and Grosvenor Bridge entrances to the Meadows for the Council to pick up.

Now the Meadows look a lot better and we’d like to ask people to keep them clean. Take litter to the nearest bin and dump it there, not on the grass or in the bushes. And dog owners, please use those dog pooh bins!

Photo caption: Sun and fun tackling the trash for Action Earth 2007 – from left to right: Keith, mystery man, Diane, Paul, Cllr David Dixon, Frank, Liz, Susan, Richard.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Poor Pavements - Bathwick Estate

We have noticed over the past years the deterioration of the pavements in and around the Bathwick Estate.

Unfortunately there has been complete lack of investment in this area for better pavements, and Local Councillors Colin Darracott and David Dixon will continue to campaign for improvements.

We have seen pavements which are uneven, with puddles gathering in the middle and those which haven't had any attention for years.

We have succeeded in the past on these issues, in 2002 Bathwick Street pavement was firstly resurfaced with tarmac and Cllr David Dixon managed to get this replaced with paving slabs.

Unfortunately since 2003 the Tories have been looking after our footpaths and no such investment has been forthcoming.

Thomas Street - BAD PARKING

We have been indundated with stories and pictures of awful parking in and around Thomas Street.

This picture shows a double parked car next to the turning for Pera Road, anyone turning out of Pera Road wanting to turn left would have had severe diffculties. Residents are urged, that if they must double park, that they do so for a short time, put a note in their window to tell people where they are, and PLEASE be considerate.

Space is tight, the are still too many cars parking in this area and many spaces are being taken up by visitors who parking in this area and walk into town and by commuters.

I agree with the majority of residents that the only solution seems to be a residents' parking zone, and will push for this work to be carried out as soon as possible.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Hustings Events

Nominations are now closed for the May 2007 Elections and it appears that Colin and I are doing a good job as not as many candidates have come forward to contest the seat as did so in 2003.

Colin and I are standing for re-election and we have the usual two from Labour and Conservative Parties.

The Greens have only put up one candidate , who was the independent fron the 2003 election who wanted to knock several stories off Berekley House. So that leaves 7 candidates. 10 stood in 2003.

There are two husting events in the ward this year.
Monday 23rd April at St John's Church Hall - 7.30pm
Thursday 26th April at Snow Hill Christian Centre - 7pm

These are two wonderful opportunities to meet the candidates and ask us all questions on what we have done for Walcot and what we plan to do in the future if re-elected.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Croft Road and Eastbourne Avenue

Traffic on Eastbourne Avenue

One local resident recalled that at one point, Eastbourne Avenue may have had a weight restriction, which seems to have disappeared. We will be making enquiries as to where this has gone and whether we can get it back. The only onward route for lorries would be up through Fairfield Road or to Lansdown Road, which has a 7.5t weight limit, so they should not be using that. The only other route that they could be taking is Tyning Lane and Snow Hill.

We will ask that traffic on Eastbourne Avenue and indeed along the length of Camden Road is reviewed as it seems as though the current situation will not do. If re-elected we will consult as to possible solutions.

Recycling Bins

A number of local residents have raised concern over how recycling bins are being placed back after emptied by operatives. Once emptied they should be placed back at the edge of your property as it was found. We will raise this concern with waste services and ask that this is done. We agree that it is not good enough for them to be left anywhere else.

Southbourne Gardens Allotments Land

Through the good work of residents and with the support of Cllr Colin Darracott, we have seen the appeal narrowly fought off. We are now working with Council Officers to work up a compulsory purchase order for the land, so that we may bring this back into community usage. This would be the first CPO of it’s kind for the Council and it is hoped that if we can succeed on this that we can look at safeguarding more sites across the city.

Full marks to the efforts of Claremont Resident’s Association!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Midsummer Buildings and Hampton View - Footpaths, dog mess and rat running!

Over the past 4 years of the Conservative rule over our highways - including footpaths we have seen more and more deterioration of the footpaths.
We will be asking the highways department for more attention to be paid to the footpaths around Hampton View, Midsummer Buildings and Croft Road.

I think that the picture here sums it all up quite well. 21st century footpaths and roads? More like a 18th century dirt track. The Romans did a better job than this!
We have asked that seperate dog bins are installed near children's play areas for dog mess.
Hampton View - Rat running.
Hampton View has been the subject of rat running recently as traffic head down it to use the lane at the bottom. Why anyone would choose to use such a poor conditioned lane is beyond us, but there we go. We are awaiting advice from Council Officers as to what we can do here, as it is not public land it makes things a little more difficult, plus we have to bear in mind that local residents do need to use it too. We hope to have some ideas soon on this.

Tory Lies

When it comes to politics sometimes I will admit that things can be dressed up and made to sound better or worse - personally I try to call a spade a spade and tell it how it is.

What infuriates me though are outright lies. A resident today thought that the Council were going to move to fortnighty refuse collections. This, it appears as stemmed from Tory literature recently sent out which objects to Lib Dem and Labour plans for fortnightly waste collections.

The Liberal Democrats have no plans to move to fortnightly refuse collections and to say that we have such plans is on outright lie. In fact quite the opposite is true and we would like to see the introduction of same day collection for all waste, recycling and garden waste, cardboard collections.

I knew that the Tories are keen to take control of the Council, but through such blatant misuse of the truth, keen seems to have moved up a notch to desperate.

Midsummer Buildings and Hampton View

This evening we have picked up a number of issues at Midsummer Buildings and Hampton View.

Firstly we found this fly tipped rubbish and we have reported it to be cleared to Council Connect.
We have also spoken to a number of residents about the state of the footpaths both on the highway and between different areas. We were more shocked to realise that some had not been resurfaced too long ago - we will ask that these are given some attention.

We have also been notified of an increase in dog mess and have asked the Council's Dog Warden to see what can be done.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Lib Dem Manifesto

Today the Bath and North East Somerset Liberal Democrats launched their manifesto. Outlining our promises fo delievry over the next four years should the electorate choose the Liberal Democrats to take control of B&NES Council.

Our five priorities are:

  • Running an efficient council that is truly local.
  • Providing better public trasnport and a cleaner, greener environment.
  • Creating safe neighbourhoods and providing affordable housing.
  • Caring for older people, the young and the more venerable members of our community.
  • Promoting culture, regeneration and active, healthy lifestyles.

Over the coming weeks I will put up more details over the 5 priorities, but if you would like a full copy of our manifesto please do let us know.


Monday, March 05, 2007

Residents' Parking - Update

Frustrated residents are joining forces to save their streets from commuter parking.

Two groups have combined their efforts to battle for parking permits.

Residents from Thomas Street and the surrounding area have been pushing for a residents' parking scheme for some time.

They say the area, which is a short walk from the city centre, is currently a parking free-for-all.

Camden Residents' Association has been fighting a similar battle after the issue was first raised several years ago.

Now the two areas are joining forces to lobby for funding to create the permit zone in the coming council year.

Amy Morris, who has been heavily involved in the Thomas Street campaign, said that new double-yellow lines on a neighbouring road increased pressure on the available spaces. The lines on Pera Road were put in last week, but the problems are still going on. A few spaces have been lost, but the number of commuters, residents and shoppers hasn't gone down. There is a lot of support in our area for the residents' parking zone. However, at the moment the council won't move it on because the area is too small for a zone on its own."

Chairman of the Camden association Nigel Sherwen said that initial enquiries in the area, around two years ago, had been split in half for and against residents' parking.

But a survey from March last year had seen figures rise to a more conclusive majority in favour.

"We agreed at the AGM we would review the figures we had," he said. This time there was a healthy majority for a zone - at the west end of Camden it was up around 80 per cent. The council told us this was enough support, but that we weren't a big enough zone. That's where Thomas Street comes into it, to the south of Camden. We want to help the council. We have offered to distribute information and hopefully we can get money into next year's budget for the ground work. If it all goes well, then by September or October, it could be in place."

Councillor David Dixon (Lib Dem, Walcot ward) said joining forces was likely to prove beneficial for both areas.

"That area is the closest place to the city centre without residents' parking schemes. We need to take a wider approach on these things and think about the knock-on effect for each area. I don't think you can bring it in to one area and not the other. It will just displace all the traffic to the other area."

Story thanks to Anna Mansell, Bath Chronicle

Massive Investment in Youth Centre

Thanks to the efforts of Local Liberal Democrats £130,000 has been ploughed into improvements at the Riverside Community Centre on the London Road.

The centre, which is based behind the Porter Butt next to the river Avon, was a couple of years ago under threat of being closed down after an unfortunately unsuccessful bid to turn it into a Healthy Living Centre.

However this did not stop Councillor David Dixon (Lib Dem, Walcot) and local residents’ enthusiasm for keeping this centre alive. The Riverside Community Association was set up under the Chairmanship of Cllr Dixon with the aimof keeping the valuable facility at Riverside.

Last year Local Councillor Colin Darracott agreed £130k worth of works to take place at the centre to bring it up to standard for the Disability Discrimination Act.

12 weeks of work started in January at the centre which will see significant improvements and a much better facility for users.

Cllr Darracott said of the scheme, "I am really pleased that I have been able to allocate these funds to the centre. Last year we saw Council investment into a state of the art music studio in one part of the centre and with this extra £130,000 I think the local community will be really pleased with these developments."

Andy Tanner, a local campaigner and landlord of the Porter Butt is also pleased to see improvements at the centre and is working with the Council to help improve the access road, which we hope to see resurfaced once the works at the Centre are completed and a regular cleaning schedule with Wessex Water, The Porter Butt and the Council working together to keep it litter free.

Clear Drains at Ringswell Gardens

After many efforts by a number of local residents at Ringswell Gardens, Councillor David Dixon is pleased to report that Bath and North East Somerset Council and Wessex Water have successfully worked together to stop the flooding which occurred after heavy rainfall in cul-de-sacs at Ringswell Gardens.

Councillor David Dixon had been in contact with Colin Skellett (Chief Executive, Wessex Water) to make sure that this problem is solved once and for all, and passed on the positive comments received from local residents on the attitude and communications received from contractors working for Wessex Water and for the Council.

Councillor Dixon said, “It is great to see that the Council has worked well with Wessex Water in solving this problem. I was horrified to see how much flooding occurred at this location and full credit to the local residents who fought hard to bring an end to this problem. I am glad that this has hopefully now been resolved.”

Kensington Gardens Park

The small park at Kensington Gardens has had a revamp thanks to the efforts of local residents working closely with the Council’s Park’s Department.

In the initial consultations a number of residents had concerns over the proposed loss of the handrail. Local Lib Dem Councillor David Dixon, sought reassurances from the Council that a handrail would be installed. Unfortunately as many would have noticed this took a while longer than anticipated but Cllr Dixon is happy to report that the handrail is now in place.

On inspecting the handrail Cllr Dixon said, “I am really pleased that this scheme got off the ground, I have to thank local residents and the London Road and Snow Hill Partnership for moving this project forward. I am pleased to see the new handrail finally in place as it provides invaluable assistance to people who need it. I have been asked if we can reinstall a separate dog bin at this location and I do my best to get this back into place”.

The Council’s parks department have also agreed to improve maintenance of the park to ensure that it stays in good condition.

London Road Pollution

Liberal Democrat Councillors and local landlord Andy Tanner are campaigning to ban lorries from the London Road. Unfortunately the Conservatives in charge of transport have failed to take action on this. Cllr Colin Darracott said, “Once we take power from the Tories over transport issues we can seriously look at banning HGV’s from the London Road. We are keen to work with local campaigners such as Andy to lobby for such measures.”

Sunday, March 04, 2007

Southbourne Gardens Former Allotments

Local residents will probably know by now that the planning inspector rejected the appeal by the potential developers of the Southbourne Gardens former allotment site. However, another application in the future must be anticipated. The principal defence against the recent application rested on traffic and highways issues.

Cllr Colin Darracott hopes the site will be brought back into use as allotments. He said, “There is such demand for allotments in the city, particularly from the Eastern residential area, and the Council cannot at the moment meet its statutory requirements. I hope that a strategy will emerge soon, following preliminary work”.

Monday, February 05, 2007

Parking charges decision confirmed at call-in

The Council’s Planning, Transport and Sustainability Overview and Scrutiny panel has this afternoon dismissed the call-in of the decision on raising parking charges in Bath after an in-depth discussion covering consultation, budgetary process and the Diamond Card scheme.
Councillor David Bellotti (Lib Dem, Lyncombe), who lead the call-in, said:
"I am very pleased that the panel has recommended that: in the future car parking charges will be considered in the annual budget round so that other policies of the Council can be taken into account; consultations should be formalised; risks should be properly assessed; and charges should only be raised in the context of an overall transport strategy."

Councillor David Dixon (Lib Dem, Walcot), Chair of the Overview and Scrutiny panel added:
“Today’s meeting has been a useful exercise. I felt that the basics of democratic decision-making had not been fulfilled in the original decision and, although the panel voted to dismiss the call-in, I am glad we had a chance to discuss issues relating to parking and transport in Bath. Hopefully this will lead to positive changes.”

“I do not believe that lunch with the Chamber of Commerce behind closed doors sufficiently demonstrates open accountability and good practice in consultation. Neither am I convinced that a comprehensive risk assessment of the knock-on implications for Bath’s economy was adequately carried out.”

“However, at the end of the day we have a concessionary fares scheme which is being used by 28,000 people across Bath and North East Somerset, and we should be proud that this Lib Dem promise has been fulfilled.”

Friday, January 26, 2007

Sydney Gardens

The green spaces and the children's play park at Sydney Gardens are in need of some work to bring them back to there former glory.

Issues were highlighted by a local resident in the Bathwick Estate about graffiti in the play area and Cllr Dixon has spoken to the Council's Park's Department, who are currently working on plans to improve the gardens, this includes the possibility of a revamped play area and improved open spaces.

Cllr David Dixon said, "I am please to see that the Council, working with local residents and the Police are looking to improve the facilities at Sydney Gardens and I especially look forward to improved play areas for young children."

Do you have an idea or could you help get involved? Please contact Cllr David Dixon at

The Future of our Rubbish?

The latest ‘Rubbish or Resource?’ consultation starts on Thursday, 25 January and continues until Friday, 23 March 2007.

This is your opportunity to have your say about how we should deal with residual waste in the West of England.Residual waste is all the rubbish which is left over after we have recycled and composted all we can. Landfill sites are rapidly running out of space and should only be used as a last resort. There are seven viable options which are alternatives to landfill. Which would you favour? And…where should it/they be located?

Local Councillor Colin Darracott, (Lib Dem, Walcot) said, "The Liberal Democrat Group on the Council is absolutely committed to recycling and reducing rubbish and we have set ourselves a long term goal of Zero Waste. In 2000 the Council was awarded Beacon Status by the government for its waste and recycling services. Currently 40% of our rubbish goes this way."

The Lib Dem Group in the Council will continue to support waste reduction and recycling schemes in line with the Waste Hierarchy.If you want to visit the website and take part in the consultation click here.
Or you can download the consultation document and questionnaire here.

Decision on Parking Charges to be Review!

A public meeting is being held on Monday, 5 February to review a recent decision by Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Executive, agreeing proposed changes to parking charges in Bath city centre.

It was agreed at the Executive meeting on 10 January that proposed new parking charges would be implemented in April 2007.

Members of the public are invited to register their interest in speaking at the meeting to be held in the Brunswick Room in the Guildhall, High Street, Bath, at 10.30am.

The introduction in April 2006 of free bus travel for the elderly and disabled, as well as pay-on-foot parking - with all its faults and problems when installed, has resulted in a potential budget deficit in the Council’s transportation budget. The proposed new charges will help to generate enough income to cover this shortfall and allow the Council to continue funding other necessary transport projects.

Nineteen councillors have asked for this decision to be reviewed (or called-in). The councillors feel that parking charges should not be used as a way of raising money in order to meet these shortfalls in the transport budget. They also believe there has not been enough consideration of the impact that these charges will have on local businesses in Bath and that there has been a lack of consultation with residents and the local business community.

The councillors have challenged the decision through the Council’s call-in process, which enables them to request that an Executive decision, which has been made but not yet implemented, is reconsidered.

Cllr David Dixon, Panel Chair, said: “We need to be very clear about the role of this call-in hearing. The panel’s remit is to review whether or not the decision to increase car parking charges in Bath has been properly taken, with due consideration to best practice in consultation, and to the risks surrounding the implications of this decision. The Panel can only decide whether or not to refer this decision back to the Executive to review and has no power to over-rule the decision.”

The Planning, Transportation and Sustainability Overview and Scrutiny Panel is responsible for leading this review. This cross-party panel will consider the reasons for the call-in and will hear relevant evidence, in order to recommend whether the decision should be implemented or referred back to the Executive Member for reconsideration.

It is important for the Panel to hear from contributors, such as local residents, visitors, and the business community, in order to help determine how well consultation has taken place over the proposed increase in parking charges.

Members of the public who would like to speak at the meeting should contact Democratic Services on 01225 394 411 by 5pm on Wednesday, 31 January 2007.

Written submissions can be made by emailing, or in writing to:

Overview and Scrutiny team,
Parking Review Call-In,
Democratic Services,
The Guildhall,
High Street,
Bath BA1 5AW

Monday, January 22, 2007

Conservative's Hike Up Car Parking Charges...

... and anything extra to show for it? You must be joking!

If the Tories get their way, parking charges in Bath are on course for a massive increase.
Commenting shortly after Conservative Transport Supremeo Cllr Sir Elgar Jenkin’s plans were approved Cllr David Dixon, (Lib Dem, Walcot) said:

"The report that was presented said that free local bus travel for the over 60’s has cost the Council ‘far more than was budgeted for’ and that ‘demand for free travel has exceeded all expectations’ the decision offers nothing extra for residents of Bath and North East Somerset and this increase is simply to balance the books."

The Liberal Democrats raised the issue of the projected costs of the Diamond Card with Cllr Jenkins over a year ago, and warned him that free travel could end up costing substantially more than expected.

Cllr Dixon continued, "I believe there should have been a thorough review of parking charges and bus usage, taking account of the free journeys under the Diamond Card scheme, to ensure that costs could be met without increasing pressure on income from parking."

It seems to me that the Conservatives have ignored our warnings and once again have had to take yet more money from Bath residents to pay for their mistakes. Let's just hope that voters will remember this when electing a new council in May.

We Can Cut Crime

Ming Campbell's Liberal Democrats are taking the lead, proposing real action at a national level and acting to cut crime where we are in power locally.

Violent crime is rising, anti-social behaviour is still a serious problem, and our prisons are overflowing. Labour have talked tough but have failed to deliver despite 10 years in power.
The Tories are in disarray on crime. One day it's hug a hoodie; the next it's slap a hoodie. Who knows what the Tories stand for now? What we do know is that the last Tory government cut police numbers and let violent crime double.

Enough is enough. Tough talk doesn't tackle crime - we've learnt that from the last twenty years of Labour and Conservative failure. This campaign is about taking effective action to make our country safer.

We need more police, freed from the burden of bureaucracy, to take back our town centres, especially after dark. Instead of spending billions of pounds on compulsory ID cards for innocent, law-abiding citizens, that money should be spent on targeting criminals and tackling crime.
We need a prison system that works. Prisoners should work to pay compensation to their victims, and to cut reoffending. A life sentence should mean life.

We are serious about cutting crime. Together, we can make Britain safer for all of us.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Football Pitch at Kensington Meadows - A Step Closer!

Young footballers are celebrating after receiving a grant to bring the sport back to a green space near London Road. Kensington Meadows was once a popular spot for informal sporting contests, with friends gathering for kick-abouts and others regularly setting up cricket wickets. For many years the area has been ignored by all but dog walkers. But trails have been taking place in the meadows' nature reserve during recent months, boosting awareness of the green space. Now a 14-strong group of youngsters have started to gather to play football on Sunday afternoons, with jumpers for goalposts. But last night a cheque for more than £1,300 was handed over to the Walcot Wanderers Youth team to pay for new goalposts, with the aim of having a coaching day for the team later in the year.

One of the Wanderers, Karin Harwood, who lives in Snow Hill, said they were very pleased to have won the grant from Bath and North East Somerset Council's Youth Bank scheme.

The informal group prepared their application with the support of Cllr David Dixon (Lib Dem, Walcot) and Karim attended an interview with the fellow teenagers on the Youth Bank panel who decided their fate. The 18-year-old said: "There's nothing to do round here but cause trouble, so we thought we'd try to start a team and have something to look forward to."I'm really am pretty happy about getting the grant and can't wait for them to put in the posts."

Cllr Dixon became involved when the youngsters approached him asking for help to improve the meadows for young people. "I initially told them there wouldn't be money available from the council and that we could look elsewhere," said Cllr Dixon. "Then the council's leisure team told me about Youth Bank, so I handed it over as the applications are made by young people and decided by their peers."

This is good news that started with friends having a kick around. Now it can kick start a lot more for young people."

Money left from installing goalposts will go towards a free coaching day in the spring. The response to this day will then be used to see if there is enough interest for regular coaching of other youth sports to be organised at the meadows.

The group received its Youth Bank cheque from the chairwoman of B &NES Council, Cllr Loraine Morgan-Brinkhurst (Lib Dem, Newbridge), at a presentation ceremony last night.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Riverside Youth Centre Refurbishment

£130,000 has been ploughed into improvements at the Riverside Community Centre on the London Road.

The centre which is based behind the Porter Butt next to the river Avon, was a couple of years ago under threat of being closed down after an unfortunately unsuccessful bid to turn it into a Healthy Living Centre.

However this did not stop Councillor David Dixon (left in picture) and local residents enthusiam for keeping this centre alive. The Riverside Community Association was set up under the Chairmanship of Cllr Dixon with an aim to keep the valuable facility at Riverside.

Last year Local Councillor Colin Darracott (centre in picture) agreed £130k worth of works to take place at the centre to bring it up to standard for the Disability Discrimination Act.

Last week 12 weeks of work started at the centre which will see significant improvements and a much better facility for users.

Cllr Darracott said of the scheme, "I am really pleased that the Council has been able to allocate these funds to the centre, last year we saw Council investment into a state of the art music studio in one part of the centre and with this extra £130,000 I think the local community will be really pleased with these developments."

Andy Tanner (centre in picture) a local campaigner and landlord of the Porter Butt is also pleased to see improvements at the centre and is working with the Council to help improve the access road, which we hope to see resurfaced once the works at the Centre are completed.

Cllr David Dixon Plans to Run Bath Half!

Cllr David Dixon and the team at Minuteman Press will be running in the Bath Half Marathon this year.

David is looking to raise funds for the RUH Forever Friends appeal while his work colleagues in his day job at Minuteman Press on Walcot Street will be fund raising for Breast Cancer Research. He says, "I thought it would be good to run the Bath Half not only to help get in shape for my wedding in July, but also to help raise money for such a local worthwhile cause. I am sure that it will be very challenging, but I am looking forward to it very much indeed."

If you would like to sponsor David you can contact him on or call him on 07900 974975.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Outrage at Road Safety Measures Removed

Road safety measures which were introduced to a busy rat run in 2003 have been removed and branded as "grossly over the top" by the Conservative Councillor in Charge of Highways Cllr Elgar Jenkins (Con, Bathwick).

Concerns were raised over the gradual disappearance of the speed reduction measures along Camden Road by the Mr Nigel Sherwen, Chairman of the Camden Road Residents Association, who in a letter to Cllr Jenkins says, "You will know that the Camden Road Residents Association has campaigned long and hard to get the 20MPH zone and traffic calming measures consisting mainly of speed tables and speed cushions installed and we have been pleased to see the improvement that has been made in reducing speeds... ...Unfortunately over the last year or more there has been a series of activities which has led to speed cushions being removed and not replaced in several places."

In total seven speed cushions have been removed and not reinstated. Local Councillor David Dixon (Lib Dem, Walcot) says, "These speed cushions have been removed with no consultation with local residents or local councillors. The Council had listened to the Association who had campaigned for years to have the traffic slowed down, and they were rewarded for their campaigning for road safety measures in this area, local residents and councillors were consulted and the safety measures were put in place. In my view to remove them with no consultation or without the Council demonstrating with evidence that the road is just as safe without them as it was with them is simply disgraceful."

A question has been raised with the Council Solicitor as to why this decision to remove the safety measures had not gone through the usual Council democratic processes and why no one was consulted on the changes before they happened.

Climate Change - New Tory Labour Broadcast

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Football at Kensington Meadows

Jumpers for goalposts will soon be a thing of the past for young Rooneys and Lampards playing football in the area.

The youngsters from Larkhall and Snow Hill have won a grant from Youth Bank to improve the facilities at Kensington Meadows.

The initiative, run by young people themselves, will next week award them £1,380.

Walcot Cllr David Dixon (Lib Dem), who put the youngsters in touch with the organisation, said the money would pay for new goalposts plus a one-off coaching session. c "It's great because it's getting more young people involved with physical exercise," he said. "We've had both young and old people there using their jumpers to mark the goalposts. This award, plus the revamp of the Riverside youth centre, is all culminating to provide better facilities for young people."

Resident's Parking Thomas Street and environs

Over 100 households have now responded to the Resident's Parking Survey.

In Thomas Street 94% of respondents support a scheme

In Clarence Street 58% of respondents support a scheme

In Pera Road and Pera Place 78% of respondents support a scheme

In Seymour Road 65% of respondents objected to a scheme

Local residents sent out a newsletter stating that I would be asked to put forward a scheme excluding Seymour Road, however since this we have received a number of letters and a petition asking for Seymour Road to be included.

Therefore I have asked Parking Officers to look at introducing a scheme including Seymour Road and the whole area from Camden Road (who consulted through the Camden Road Resident's Association with string support) down to the London Road.

I will look at organsing a public meeting with Parking Officers attending to help answer any questions.

There are still a number of steps.

The Council need to advertise a Traffic Regulation Order detailing the scheme, this must be advertised for formal responses for 28 days.

The Executive Member for Transport - current the Cllr Sir Elgar Jenkins, but very likely to change after May local elections, then receives a report which they must agree to implement a scheme or not.

If agree scheme needs to be implemented, probably not likely until after May 2007.

I will continue to move this forward as fast as can be but it is worth local residents also putting their feelings in writing to