Tuesday, November 23, 2010

6/7 Bus Service Demonstration Saturday 4th December

This is a crunch time for an important campaign in Bath.  It's about
supporting residents in the front line defending public transport here. If
the abysmal 40 minute frequency is allowed to stand in densely populated
Larkhall/Fairfield Park/Camden, no bus route is safe.  Without an adequate
bus service, local economy will suffer, as well as elderly, young and
disabled people, and others who do not drive, but are unable to walk or
cycle.  So it is also about people power, democracy, in the face of
commercial and political intransigence.

Residents in north east Bath in the Save Our 6-7 Buses campaign are calling
for action over cuts in their bus service after waiting 6 months through
repeated delays by First Group and B&NES Council.  They are urging others to
join them in a peaceful, half-hour protest demonstration at Bath Bus Station
on Sat Dec 4th at 10:30am.

I know it is a busy time.  Even if you can't yourself go, please can you
spread this to all in your Bath network, tell all your friends, and try to
be there if you can!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Future of the Longacre Buildings

The three council own buildings on the London Road have been an embarrassment for Bath and North East Somerset Council for far too long.

The Council are now working with the charity Re:Generate, who have been working with local residents in the London Road and Snow Hill area and others to look at who these buildings might come back into use as part of a larger regeneration project for this part of the London Road.

Local campaigner Lisa Brett has been speaking to Cllr Colin Darracott about buildings and said, "I am so please that both Cllr Colin Darracott and David Dixon have pushed for this project to happen, this area of the London Road really needs some help to get moving."

Firm plans for these buildings should be ready early next year.

London Road Trees

At the beginning of 2009 Somer Community Housing felled a number of trees in the Snow Hill Estate.

The have agreed to replant a number of trees along the central reservation of the London Road outside of Snow Hill.

Cllr David Dixon said, "I am really please that Somer have kept to their promise to replant trees in the local area. It is hoped that these trees will be planted over the winter."

Somer Community Housing have also agreed to pay for the maintenance of these trees.

Monday, June 07, 2010

First's first offer on 6&7 Bus routes.

Local Councillors David Dixon, Bryan Chalker and Cabinet Member in Charge of Transport Cllr Charles Gerrish met with Local Campaigners, First and Passenger Focus to discuss the cut to the 6&7 Bus Services.

Simon Cursio, Commercial Director at First has offered to reinstate the Circular Service, however only with the same number of buses that this service was cut back to, this offers a 40 minute service in each direction. There would also be a wait for this to happen - not until September.

Clearly the offer to reinstate the circular route is great, but there is still lots more to do.

It is quite clear that the 40 minute service is still a greatly reduced service from the 20 minutes previously, plus we do not accept that we should wait until September.

Cllr David Dixon said, "The offer from First is broadly what I expected and I will treat this as an opening offer for our negotiations. The service has still been dramatically cut. First and the Council have gone away to look at improving this offer and are due to report back to us next week.

As it stands we are still a little way from where we need to be, and First do need to ensure that they deliver a service which the community will continue to value. The locally run campaign has been well run and I congratulate all local residents that have been involved, it has certainly convinced First to do a U-Turn on the routes, we just need to speed up the implementation and improve the frequency, I am confident that First will better their offer."

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Community gardening project in Kensington Gardens

In 1902 the Hill family presented the City of Bath with a small park area in Kensington Gardens, Walcot. The family wanted to preserve an area of peace and tranquility for future local residence and to provide a habitat for flora and fauna.

The gardens have been well utilized over the last century, with local residents making the most of the wonderful views of Bath the park provides. However, these gardens wouldn’t be a pleasant place for residents and visitors to enjoy if it wasn't for the dedication of local volunteers.

I joined the gardening project for the first time on a rainy Sunday morning in May, when several volunteers showed up to plant, perform maintenance, and conduct a survey of work to be done. It was cold and wet, but the sprit of the event was light and warm. There was a wide variety of work to be undertaken, some lighter and some heavy, but everyone got stuck in and genuinely appreciated the contribution made by co-workers. Partially welcomed was the appearance of Cllr. David Dixon, who got down and dirty with his spade and weeded a good sized plot.

Signifying the general good nature of community volunteers, when our mornings work was completed everyone was invited for coffee and biscuits at a neighboring house – some volunteers even stayed on for lunch!

The gardening team meets monthly, and all donations of plants, materials or time are warmly welcomed. Please join us at 10am on; 6 June, 4 July, 1 August or 5 Sept.

Lisa Brett

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Bus Cuts - Key Dates!

Help reverse the cuts to Nos 6/7 Bus Services

From 23rd May
No. 6 will only serve FAIRFIELD PARK
& No. 7 will only serve LARKHALL

There will be NO DIRECT LINK


It will also be CUT from every 20mins to every 30mins.


Write to Sarah Bell, Western Traffic Commissioner,
2 Rivergate, Temple Quay, Bristol BS1 6EH

Write to First Group
First, Freepost 3782, BATH BA1 1SS Email – bath.csc@firstgroup.com

Contact us the campaign organisers
Email – saveour6.7buses@gmail.com Tel – 01225 311163

Watch your local bus stop for latest news

Join us to support the campaign

Thurs 20th May – 9.30am – Guildhall
B&NES Council meeting at which we will be speaking

Fri 21st May – 7.00pm – St Marks School
Open Meeting to Save Our Buses

Sat 22nd May – 10.30am – Bath Bus Station
Demonstration for press & media

Sat 22nd May – 6.59pm – Larkhall Square
“Ride the Last No 7 Bus to the Bus Station”

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Kensington Meadows - Play Area Open!

Officially opened this afternoon, the play equipment at Kensington Meadow has already been a big hit with all ages! See Susan Traill from the Friends of Kensington Meadows getting to grips with the climbing equipment here!

A huge well done has to go to the Friends of Kensington Meadows and the PlayPathfinder team at the Council, and to all the people who were involved in this scheme.
Cllr David Dixon said, "I am so pleased that after 18 months of planning and discussions, this scheme is finally open. Today has shown what a big hit it is with well over 50 people attending during the afternoon."
More pics of the event are avaible on Cllr David Dixon's Facebook Page which can be accessed here!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Save our 6/7 Buses Petition

Save our 6/7 Buses Petition

Demo over 6 and 7 Bus Cuts

This morning we attended a demonstration run by local residents opposing cuts to the number 6 and 7 Bus Services, we managed to speak to the Operations Manager at First who is willing to meet with us, with the Managing Director and Operations Director from First Bus.

Our very own local campaigner Lisa Brett who lives on the London Road alerted us to the demonstration and I do hope that we can find a positive way forward.

Lisa said, "I am glad that our local councillor, David Dixon has been able to secure a way forward with First, a demonstration is one thing but getting a way forward on this issue is something else."

Cllr David Dixon said, "I am so impressed with the turnout and commitment shown by local residents and would urge people to sign the petition."

The petition can be found here Online petition - Save our 6/7 Buses
You can view more photos by following this link!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Bus Service Cuts!

First Bus are looking to cut the number 6 service which is a circular route which covers Camden, Larkhall and Fairfield Park.

Passengers are currently able to bus it from Larkhall up along Camden every 20 minutes. This service is being reduced to every 30 minutes and split into 2 services.

This would now mean that someone wanting to go to the post office in Larkhall who lives in Camden would need to take one bus into town, change and take another bus back out to Larkhall. Furthermore the service is proposed to run every 30 minutes which would mean that (provided the buses run on time) could take up to 2 hours and cost twice as much.

One of the reasons that the post office on Camden was suht was because there is a post office in Larkhall served by a good bus route. This will no longer be the case.

We are trying to set up a meeting with First about this. I do not see this as improvements to the service at all, more like a much poorer service to me. So I will be interested to hear what they have to say on this.

We may also set up a meeting with another bus company such as Wessex Connect who have recently been filling in the gaps left by First on a number of services across the city.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

Secondary School Shake Up

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

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

Dates for public meetings are as follows:
Tuesday 11 May, Wellsway School, 7pm
Tuesday 18 May, Broadlands School, 7pm
Wednesday 26 May, St Keyna Primary School, 7pm

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

Consultation – began on 31 March 2010 and will end 28 May 2010.
Decision on proposals – Cabinet will make a decision on the proposal on 21st July 2010.

How to give feedback on the proposals
Consultation booklets which give details of the proposals have been distributed to all schools and also to wider stakeholders in Bath and Keynsham and are available online. Everyone with an interest in the education of our young people can comment on the proposals by email, letter or online. For more information visit www.bathnes.gov.uk and navigate to the School Consultation documents through the ‘have your say’ section on the homepage.

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Resident's Parking - AGAIN

It has come to our attention that the Council have sent out application letters to residents for permits for the Camden Scheme, but have omitted a covering letter stating when the scheme will come into place. A new covering letter should go out next week to say that the scheme will come into force from 1st July!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Resident's Parking Update

OK so resident's parking for Camden Road area has been agreed to go ahead, the one way system is scrapped and the Thomas Street area is going back out with some alterations, including allowing permits for Walcot Parade residents, for more consultation.

Following feedback from residents, the operating hours have been reduce from 8am to 7pm.

The Council received 122 responses on the Camden Road scheme, 127 responses on the One Way scheme and 44 responses for the Thomas Street scheme. All can be viewed by using the links you will also see responses from Council officers to each comment.

For the full decision report on this please follow this link!

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Kensington Meadows - Play Area Opening!

The opening event for the Play Pathfinder equipment at Kensington Meadows is on Sunday 16 May at 2 pm. It is hoped that the weather will be kind and that we will all have a very enjoyable time. Exact activities not yet decided - however I am sure that The Friends of Kensington Meadows will motivate people into action!

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Cllr David Dixon - Facebook Page

Cllr David Dixon has created a new Page on Facebook so that you can quickly and easily follow the work that he is doing for the residents of Walcot.

You can visit http://tinyurl.com/cllrdixon and follow his activities from your Facebook feed!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Black Cat moves into Porter Butt

I visited The Porter Butt this evening and met with Dave from the Black Cat - who are the organisation currently squatting.

Talking to them they didn't know of the future plans for the building so I updated them and said that their squatting may delay things further.

They said that they don't really want to delay things but would like to somehow stay until Richers are ready to start works.

I have passed their contact details onto Richers and I hope that things can be resolved without long and costly court battles etc.

They do run a blog if you want to know more http://blackcatcentre.blogspot.com

It's an interesting one as in principle I do support what The Black Cat are trying to deliver. I am hoping that the Council might open up dialogue with a view to finding them a proper home so that they do not have to keep on squatting in empty properties.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Liberal Democrat Manifesto Available to Download

We have had such a warm welcome on the doorstep while out canvassing, so thank you to all those we have met.
Many have asked for a copy of our manifesto, our printed manifesto is quite a chuncky document, so here is the link to it and below a quick summary,

a fair chance
for every child
• Ensure children get the individual attention they need by
cutting class sizes
• Made possible by investing £2.5 billion in schools targeted
to help struggling pupils
• Give schools the freedom to make the right choices for
their pupils

fair taxes
that put money back in your pocket
• The first £10,000 you earn tax-free: a tax cut of £700 for
most people
• 3.6 million low earners and pensioners freed from income
tax completely
• Paid for in full by closing loopholes that unfairly benefi t
the wealthy and polluters

a fair future
creating jobs by making Britain greener
• Break up the banks and get them lending again to protect
real businesses
• Honesty about the tough choices needed to cut the defi cit
• Green growth and jobs that last by investing in infrastructure

a fair deal
by cleaning up politics
• Put trust back into politics by giving you the right to sack
corrupt MPs
• Restore and protect hard-won British civil liberties with a
Freedom Bill
• Overhaul Westminster completely: fair votes, an elected
House of Lords, all politicians to pay full British taxes

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Election Definitely Started

OK so if you haven't noticed the election is definitely under way.

We have been busy delivering leaflets and most importantly knocking doors. We have done a complete knock across Walcot and have spoken already to hundreds of residents. We still have more to do as you could probably imagine not everyone is in when you first call.

So today I have leaflets to deliver, then I am taking some time this afternoon to cut the grass as the great weather has made it grow very quickly! Then if all goes to plan I intend to finish any outstanding deliveries for Walcot.

Don't forget if you can help us in anyway please visit http://www.bathlibdems.org.uk/pages/campaign.html every little helps.

Friday, April 09, 2010

Register to vote by 20th April 2010 and have your say

Residents across the Bath & North East Somerset Council area can find out more about voting in the May 6th 2010 General Election through the Council’s website, by email, or by telephone.
All the information needed by voters can be found on www.bathnes.gov.uk/elections or the Council can be contacted by email on elections@bathnes.gov.uk or telephone on 01225 477333. On the Council website residents can download the form to register to vote, find out where their local polling station is, and apply for a postal or proxy vote. Anybody wishing to vote in the General Election must register to do so by Tuesday 20th April 2010. If you do not register, you cannot vote. There are no Local Elections being held this year.
I am a first time voter…
Remember, your name doesn’t go on the register automatically once you have turned 18, or just because you are paying Council Tax;
First time voters must fill-in the form to register to vote and send it back to us. Once on the electoral register, the Council will send a card with details of where the polling station is.
I want to vote by post…
The deadline to request a postal vote is Tuesday 20th April 2010 by 5pm. You do not need a reason to request a postal vote;
Your ballot paper is sent to your home address ahead of Election Day.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Southbourne Gardens Planning Dismay

A hearing to decide whether homes can be built on former allotment land in Bath has ruled in favour of the development.

Developer Thomas Wheeler appealed to the Planning Inspectorate last year after Bath and North East Somerset Council refused permission to build 10 homes at the site in Fairfield Park.

And following a hearing, the government inspector decided to grant permission for the housing.

The Claremont Residents’ Association and local councillors had argued that the land at Southbourne Gardens is the area’s village green and should be returned to allotment use.

They opposed the application, which will see the building of eight four-bedroom houses and two three-bedroom flats, amid fears they would be losing an open space and would be disturbed by an increase of traffic in the area.

In her report the inspector said: “I appreciate that the proposed development would result in noise and disturbance from additional vehicles using the road and accessing the site, particularly in the area nearest the proposed turning head/parking area. However, I do not consider that the noise likely to be generated by those accessing the site would be likely to have such a significant effect in this residential urban environment as to warrant refusal. Although car headlights might be noticeable from some of the existing properties, the landscaping plan indicates that planting would be provided in this area to lessen any such effect.”

She added that she found that development reflected the character and appearance of the area.
The land had previously been used for grazing livestock but during the Second World War was turned into allotments.

The allotment holders were kicked off the site in the 1980s and has been left disused and unkept by the family who own it despite previous attempts by the local community to buy it and offer alternative uses.

Councillor Colin Darracott (Lib Dem, Walcot) who was strongly against the proposals said it was going to be a big disappointment for residents.

He said: “I’m bitterly disappointed, but not entirely surprised. The residents have been on the waiting list for an allotment for a long time and now they will be waiting even longer.”

An application for costs from Mr Wheeler was submitted as part of the appeal and has also been granted, on the grounds that the council was unable to give a valid enough reason for the refusal.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Bright ideas...

Sometimes you plan something out as well as you can and think it's all going to be fine, but it's not until it comes to implementing it that you realise just how daft something is in practice.

Take this superb example where I am sure that the lighting engineer did everything right in the way of getting the new lighting up Claremont Road and Eastbourne Avenue techically in the correct positions, but surely while the contractor is putting it in something must think that something isn't quite right...
I know that the picture isn't great as this was taken at night but what you can see is the new lighting column tucks nicely away into a large sycamore tree, meaning that the lamp which will end up on top of it will be totally ineffective.

When I get a daylight image I will put it up.

I await a response from the street lighting team as to how to solve this one... D

Friday, January 29, 2010

New Cycle Lane

Following requests from local residents, a Council officer will be looking at opening up the lane between Powlett Road and Bathwick Street to cyclist.

Initial findings are that the lane is wide enough and that it would create a good link through. Since The Council never made any dedicated cycle route around Sydney Gardens when complete farce of a traffic system went in (funny that was also unpopular and funded through a government grant - nothing changes eh?).
All funds and projects for this financial year are agreed, however I do hope that we can open it up next year. Unfortunately there is a cost which has not previously been budgetted as a legal order and markings have to go in to reverse the cycling ban.
Thanks to the residents who raised this with me (you know who you are), I do hope that next year we might get this sorted.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Excuses to be heard in public over poor waste collections

So waste bosses are due to come in front of a scrutiny panel of Councillors to explain the thinking behind the catch up method of rubbish and recycling collections. The Bath Chronicle reports 3 week of no collection! 3 week indeed? That is business as usual for Walcot. Many street have had 6 weeks now without a collection.

Needless to say that I will be sending a statement in for that meeting which starts at 10am on Thursday 28th January. In the Guildhall.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Cleveland Pools

Hidden away in Bathwick, on the banks of the River Avon, is the country's only surviving Georgian lido. Closed over twenty years ago, the Cleveland Pleasure Pools were at one time a favourite summer destination for generations of Bathonians. Now a campaign is underway to re-open the pools for public bathing.

The Cleveland swimming pools in Bath were built at the beginning of the nineteenth century and provided open air bathing for the city's residents until they were closed during the 1970s (although they re-opened temporarily for a short period in the mid-1980s). Other than a brief and unsuccessful life as a trout farm, they have been closed ever since.

Led by The Princes Regeneration Trust, the Cleveland Pools Trust has teamed up with The Trevor Osborne Property Group to form the Cleveland Pools Alliance. The Alliance has recently agreed to acquire The Cleveland Pools site from Bath & North East Somerset Council, and heads of terms have been signed.

Together the partners of The Cleveland Pools Alliance are working to restore this unique Grade II* site. After an initial feasibility study, the Alliance has raised £64,000 with a generous grant from English Heritage and further contributions from The Osborne Group, The Duke of Cornwall's Benevolent Fund and the Cleveland Pools Trust.

Once reinstated, the Cleveland Pools will fulfil a key role in the Bath World Heritage Site while providing a focus on leisure, healthy living, ecology and education for the local community. Below is a draft plan of proposed changes.

Piles of Rubbish

Walcot seems to have been hit really badly by poor refuse and recycling services. While I appreciate that the bouts of bad weather has not helped. Many areas of the ward have not seen a single collection since before Christmas.

Despite numerous emails and calls and promises that action will take place, not a lot seems to have happened.

Surely there must be some form of prioritisation of streets which have not seen a collection for the longest period?

How are resident's supposed to take Bath and North East Somerset Council seriously on waste and recycling when we continue to let them down?

Areas of Walcot have always suffered some of the poorest waste and recycling services that I know of across the authority. Needless to say I will continue to be on the case.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Declare my interests....

A few people have commented on how I have put links to various Councillor's Declarations of Interests in order to help you find out just a little bit more. Some are long and intereting and others, such as my own is much shorter, but do feel free to have a read... here.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Someone is having a laugh...

I need not write much to explain this, but quite simply someone within the Council wants to spend £188k on a software update for a single product we buy for finances.

Click here and see page 9.

"Jog on" I say, "jog on..."

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Haiti Earthquake

While we all go about our day, some of us wondering when a general election might be called or grumbling about the delays on waste collections due to bad weather (which coincidently has attracted over 350 comments on the Bath Chronicle Website), the disaster in Haiti continues.

Recent figures estimate 75000 people killed, 250000 injured and 1 million left homeless.

Today I did my bit and donated to Disaster Emergency Committee.

I know that it's January and for some of us it's been a long month, and we are probably looking forward to pay day, however if we can all help donate a little, it will help a lot.

Donating is so easy to do just visit http://www.dec.org.uk/donate_now/ to find out how.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

A poor decision in my view.

When I saw a planning application for 2 large houses to be built behind Percy Place to replace one house in perfectly good condition, in the conservation area. I thought that to reject the planning application would be a no brainer.

How wrong was I?

Despite over 30 objections from local residents and Bath Preservation Trust, the planning officer was minded to approve the planning application. So I asked it be be referred to committee for decision, thinking that surely a committee of sensible Councillors (do we exist?) would at least give it a good hearing in public and come to a balanced view.

So the planning officer takes it to the Chair of the Development Control Committee, Cllr Les Kew (find out more about him here if you like) who decided in all his wisdom, and finally replied to me, "It is difficult to decide at times whether to refer apps. to the committee when a request is made and this app. was indeed one of those. However after careful consideration of your request and the history of this site I felt that it was a case for delegation."

Nuts! No justification for his thinking and how one councillor gets to decide that a fair public hearing is not worthy of an application that received so much objection has left me pretty much depressed at the state of democracy to be quite honest.

It's a crazy proposal and a crazy decision to approve it. To round it off despite me speaking personally to The Chair of the Committee who said he would look again at this, and didn't, and despite me chasing the planning officer for information as to progress on this application before he approved, he still did so with no reconsideration. Needless to say I have now lodged a formal complaint. Something that after 7 years as a councillor I thought I'd never have to do.

Buy or Sell Locally

Local Walcot residents have set up a local auction website aimed at residents in and around Bath.

Worth checking out is www.bathbay.co.uk!

Conservative Cuts Leading to Dirty Streets

Liberal Democrat councillors on the Council's Safer Stronger Communities Overview and Scrutiny Panel have warned that the improvements in street cleansing promised for Bath may be impossible if the job cuts which have been threatened in the Council’s Environmental services section actually happen.

Bath City Liaison Forum delivered a very detailed report on improvements to cleansing services in the City of Bath, and these recommendations were accepted by the Cabinet member for customer services.

The services are already being delivered with very limited resources and any reduction in services would not be looked on very favourably by local residents.
Liberal Democrat members will be scrutinising forthcoming budget papers very carefully and ensuring that the Conservative administration does not cut services by the back door.

Cllr David Dixon said, "As if our streets aren't filthy enough we might now expect to see things get worse." If the Lib Dem Budget was accepted last year we would still some cuts, but at least last year would would have increased the based budget and woud now at least be in a better situation. We have gone from a bad situation to a dire situation."

Ther Liberal Democrats have been campaigning for extra money on street cleansing, in last year's budget we put forward costed plans to double the amount spent on street cleansing but the ruling Conservative's did not want to know.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

The Weather and Council Services Update

Weather Forecast
It appears as if the worst of the weather is now behind us, although temperatures will remain very cold, with possible snow fall in some areas on Tuesday evening and it still is snowing! The long-term weather forecast indicates the extremely cold weather is likely come to an end towards the weekend where there is likely to be a thaw.

Although the vast majority of Council services are back to normal, contingency plans are being developed in case of further bad weather or the anticipated thaw does not materialise.

The Week in Numbers

To understand the scale of the operations since last Wednesday some statistics from across Council services can be found below:
· 550 tonnes of grit spread on over 253 miles of the highways network; (KP)
· 730 hot community meals served;
· 377 grit bins filled in response to customer contacts;
· 98,694 visits to the www.bathnes.gov.uk website;
· 90 schools, nurseries, and special schools giving closure information for our website to our Human Resources staff;
· 76 staff redeployed from their day jobs to snow clearance, gritting, and supporting essential frontline services; (JC)
· 6,439 customer contacts dealt with by Council Connect staff between 4th – 8th January, more than double last year;
· 11 Big Freeze updates issued to the media, parish councils, and councillors.


Central Government is now influencing the salt supply chain and has instructed all local Councils to reduce the use of salt. The Council must continue to ration the available supplies for priority routes because of this decision.

The Council gritting fleet will treat prioritised routes during Wednesday, and prepare snow ploughs if required. An emergency gritting vehicle will be available around the clock to tackle any specific problems on the main network. We will continue to put grit in bins where essential.

The Council relies upon the public to tell us when grit bins are empty and we can be contacted 24 hours a day on the Council Connect line.

Highways officers have worked extremely hard to secure salt deliveries and we now have enough salt for our state-of-the-art gritting fleet to comfortably take us into next week and spread grit normal treatment rates across 253 miles. That is 37% of the road network – a figure considerably above the national average of 30%.

Because of the prioritisation of our grit stocks key transport routes have remained passable with care every day, services to vulnerable people – like vital home care - have been maintained every day, the emergency services have continued serving the public, the vast majority of schools were able to open or partly open from last Friday, and we have been able to re-start collecting waste.


Council waste collection services are starting to return normal. Limited waste collections on treated highways routes took place on Monday and Tuesday. These arrangements remain in place on Wednesday.

Households where roads have been treated are asked to leave their waste out for collection. Our drivers will be using their discretion to determine where it is safe to collect waste.

In short the message to residents is to look at the conditions of the roads near to you, and your own and question whether or not it would be safe for a collection lorry to make it down and whether or not the pavements are free from snow and ice. Then make a judgment as to whether or not the collection crews will collecting your waste. If in doubt DON'T put it out!

Other Services

Most other Council services are operating as normal. Schools are generally opening as normal with very limited partial closures due to issues like burst water mains. Head Teachers are being asked to develop contingency plans to open, particularly in light of the A-Level exam period.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Brr.. it's cold.


In response to the atrocious weather conditions, Bath & North East Somerset Council has issued extensive updates about the local weather, road conditions, and services information. This evening’s full update can be accessed on the Council homepage – www.bathnes.gov.uk . See below for a services summary and the main sections that have changed since our morning Big Freeze update.

Schools Update

It is anticipated that most schools will be open or partly open on Friday 8th January. Individual decisions will be taken by Head Teachers in consultation with Governing Bodies based upon the circumstances for each school. Information from individual schools will be published on www.bathnes.gov.uk/schoolclosures

There will be updates to this information starting from 6.45am on Friday 8th January. Parents/ guardians should also listen to local radio stations.

Community Meals

The Council intends to offer a full hot meals service on Friday. We will also deliver a frozen meal for Friday and Monday for those customers who are able to heat it, and frozen meals for the weekend for those customers who have these every week. Although we are delivering frozen meals as a contingency we will still attempt to deliver hot meals on weekdays.

The Council is encouraging carers or neighbours to those people who receive a community meal to see whether that person needs a meal, and to help them if possible.

Waste and Recycling

All services were cancelled Thursday. They are also cancelled Friday. This is because of the conditions under foot and on side roads where heavy waste collection vehicles may slide on ice and could seriously damage cars and/ or seriously injure pedestrians. Waste should not be put out for collection on this day.

Households that didn’t have their waste collected on Wednesday or Thursday should not leave their waste out for collection. The Council is not in a position to collect waste until a household’s next scheduled collection day if conditions allow. All three Recycling Centres are closed tomorrow because of hazardous icy conditions on and near the site.

Weather Forecast

The Met Office predicts that temperatures will remain below freezing overnight and that there will be no further snow. As a result, road and pavement conditions will remain extremely hazardous on untreated surfaces.

The long-term weather forecast indicates the extremely cold weather is likely to continue for some considerable time and this will continue to adversely impact on Council services. The Bath & North East Somerset Council gritting fleet will be gritting Friday evening on major transport routes and outside key facilities. All major routes remain open. An emergency gritting vehicle will be available around the clock to tackle any specific problems on the main network.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Brr it is cold!

Weather Forecast

Snow was continuous throughout the day today causing treacherous conditions.

The Met Office predicts that early this evening, temperatures will plummet with clearing skys with road surface temperatures falling to -9c. This is likely to lead to the most hazardous driving conditions experienced this winter. Road and pavement conditions will be even more hazardous.

Residents are urged not to travel unless absolutely necessary. If residents have to, the Council advises anybody to plan carefully for any journeys and keep a close eye on the weather forecast. The Council is liaising with partners such as police, fire and the PCT to coordinate efforts.

Highways update
There are nationwide problems with the supply chain of salt which does not appear to be improving and there will be a need to conserve and ration salt stocks. Although the Council has a reasonable stock at the present time, the appalling weather conditions are making the situation difficult.

The Bath & North East Somerset Council gritting fleet will be going out this evening to do another full salting run on prioritised routes. Gritting vehicles will be available around the clock to tackle any specific problems on the main network.

Key transport routes and roads to key facilities like hospitals and care homes have been gritted and are passable with care. Steep hills not on the main network are impassable. Because the Council must focus its resources on these priority routes, side roads will not be gritted. There will be very limited salting of pavements and car parks because of the nationwide problem with the salt supply chain.

The Council will continue to monitor road conditions and will provide additional salting and gritting on priority routes when required.

Snow and ice can seriously damage the highways surface increasing the number of potholes because of the action of frost on the highway. Highways Inspectors will inspect the condition of the roads during the adverse weather conditions and the Council will resolve these problems as soon as it can.

Public spaces and Car Parks
Council staff will be redeployed onto snow clearing to keep shopping areas and car parks clear once priority routes have been attended to. However, there will be very limited salting in these areas because of the nationwide problem with the salt supply chain.

Public Transport

The Council will issue a service update as early as possible tomorrow morning. For more information on the wider public transport network, bus passengers can call Traveline on 0871 200 2233.

Waste and Recycling
All services were cancelled today.

Thursday waste collections in Bath & North East Somerset Council are cancelled. Please don't put your waste out for collection.

Residents will be notified when the Council intends to collect waste from cancelled collections.

All three Recycling Centres closed on Thursday.
Schools Update

All schools in the district will be closed tomorrow. Full details are on www.bathnes.gov.uk/schoolclosures

All nurseries and Children’s Centres will be closed.

Other Services

Adult Services

If you have a vulnerable neighbour, please try and check their well-being during the cold weather.

Plans are in place to ensure that services to vulnerable people continue. People who use day centres are advised to call their centre to check if it is open.
There will be a very limited community meals service tomorrow. The Council will prioritise any deliveries to those customers who can't cook for themselves. We have phoned all others to tell them that we may not be able to deliver hot meals tomorrow.

The Council is encouraging carers or neighbours to those people who receive a community meal to see whether that person needs a meal, and to help them if possible.

Agencies commissioned by the Council to provide Home Care services have contingency plans in place. Clients or relatives should call the relevant agency for more information. These telephone numbers can be found on www.bathnes.gov.uk/homecareproviders

Useful vulnerable adult telephone numbers: Community and Health Access Team at Lewis House, Bath: 01225 396000. Emergency Duty Team
01454 615165.

Leisure Services

Chew Valley Sports Centre will be closed on Thursday 7 January 2010

Aquaterra Leisure - the Council’s leisure centre contractor - are planning to open sites as usual, however some classes and courses may be cancelled and suggest people contact their local leisure centre before setting out on their journey.

Bath Sports and Leisure Centre - 01225 486905
Keynsham Leisure Centre - 01225 395164
South Wansdyke Sports Centre - 01761 415522
Culverhay Sports Centre - 01225 480882

Council Golf Courses will be closed until further notice

For more information

1. The Council’s website will be updated regularly to keep residents up to date about general information: www.bathnes.gov.uk

2. All other enquiries should be made to Council Connect on 01225 394041 between 8am – 6pm weekdays (Wednesday 9.30am – 6pm);

3. Outside of these times the Council’s Out of Office Emergency number is 01225 477 477;

4. People can email on council_connect@bathnes.gov.uk or SMS text on 07797806545. These can be contacted 24 hours a day and a response will be sent next working day. These methods should not be used for emergency communication.