Liberal Democrats in Bath have welcomed the news that the Cleveland Pools Trust has won its bid for funding from the Heritage Lottery Fund. The Cleveland Pools are a significant part of the UK’s history and heritage, being the only surviving Georgian lido in the country.
This funding will enable the team there to get the Pools back to their glory days when the pools were open to the public for outdoor swimming.
The Liberal Democrat administration on B&NES Council backed the Cleveland Pools bid with a pledge of £200,000 towards the match funding requirement for this scheme.
Ann Dunlop of the Cleveland Pools Trust commented:
“I have to say that the current Lib Dem administration have made the big difference to our success by pledging to support us if we got the HLF grant. Many councillors had supported us when in opposition and continue to do so in a variety of ways now for which we are extremely grateful.”
Steve Bradley, PPC for Bath, who has volunteered at the Pools, said:
"Cleveland Pools are a real historical gem, and one of Bath's best kept secrets. The community group behind it deserve huge credit for bringing this piece of national and local history back to life."
TV historian Dan Snow was in Bath this week, collecting signatures on the "Let's Stay Together" open letter to Scotland, ahead of the referendum on independence next month.
Notable public figures including Sir Mick Jagger, Dame Judi Dench, Sir David Attenborough and Tom Daley have all been brought together by Dan Snow and fellow TV Historian Tom Holland to say to Scotland: "We want to let you know how very much we value our bonds of citizenship with you, and to express our hope that you will vote to renew them. What unites us is much greater than what divides us. Let's stay together."
Dan Snow, commented: “I feel passionately about Britain and everything we've achieved together throughout our long shared history across these islands. I don’t have a vote in the Scottish referendum but I certainly have a view and I really hope that our shared country stays together."
Dan Snow is pictured with Councillor Paul Crossley (Southdown) signing the letter.
If you would also like to sign the open letter, please visit www.letsstaytogether.org.uk. The Scottish Liberal Democrats are also collecting signatures from South of the Border, and you can view that campaign here: www.libdems.org.uk/why_stay_petition
Does Bath need a stronger voice in public decision making? Do we have a democratic deficit? And if so, what can be done about it?
Since B&NES was created in 1995 and Bath City Council was abolished, many have felt that a voice for Bath is needed. Communities in North East Somerset have town and parish Councils, but the same is not true in Bath. The Charter Trustees and Mayor of Bath are now purely ceremonial bodies.
Various ideas have been tried out – from the Better Bath Forum, to the Bath City Conference (started by our administration). In May this year, we suggested building on the success of the annual Bath City Conference by setting up a Committee for Bath.
To save money, we suggested this could be a Council committee but with a strong role for the public and interest groups of all sorts. This would mean existing administrative structures could be used and there would be no extra precept for residents. It could lead to more devolution of decision-making.
Since May, a working group of councillors have been looking into this idea (and other options) and have published a report on their findings.
So, if you are interested in a stronger voice for Bath – or if you feel there should be no change – please do take a look at the report and respond to the consultation.
The report and questionnaire can be found here: LINK
The deadline is 26 August 2014.
After seven years of hard work, local Councillors have finally adopted a core strategy for the Bath and North East Somerset area. The core strategy is the top-level policy that guides planners about where housing and other developments can go – and crucially, where it cannot go.
The policies in the core strategy will deliver 13,000 homes (including 3,300 affordable homes) and 10,300 jobs over the next 15 years; it will protect large swathes of the green belt and will ensure that B&NES can get money for vital infrastructure from developers. The strategy was voted through by a large majority of Councillors from all parties.
Lib Dem Councillor David Dixon (from Oldfield ward) commented:
“The final adoption of the Core Strategy is good news for our area as a whole because it paves the way for homes and jobs for local people. Everyone will have heard stories of local people who have been forced to move out to find somewhere affordable to live, despite working in Bath. Local people need homes, services and jobs.”
City centre Councillor Manda Rigby (from Abbey ward) said:
“We will now have certainty about where development is allowed and where it is not allowed. Three years ago opposition Councillors chose to play politics instead of adopting a Core Strategy at the first attempt.
“While we have been without a Core Strategy, there has been a massive increase in applications for new estates; without a complete policy to refer back to, we have lost a number of controversial planning appeals. It was good to see residents from some of the villages in North East Somerset coming along to full Council to say why the core strategy is so vital to protecting our green spaces.”
Councillor Paul Crossley (from Southdown ward) added:
“The policy which was adopted was the only deal on the table for B&NES. We couldn’t amend it to remove the South Stoke proposal or any other proposal. If we had not adopted it, we would have had to start again from scratch and would be left completely vulnerable to uncontrolled development in the meantime. By allowing limited development, with safeguards and masterplanning, on four small sites currently in the green belt we have stopped development on any other part of the green belt.”
To see the webcast of the full Council meeting, please click HERE.