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Community action on neglected London Road

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Tired of seeing London Road’s landmark planters full of weeds and litter, local residents and Lib Dem Councillor Richard Samuel have taken matters into their own hands.


Lib Dems call for reform of school admissions system

Secondary school admissions in Bath should be reorganised to give more weight to where pupils live, according to Lib Dem Councillors.

At a hearing of the Council’s Children and Young People committee on Tuesday (15 May), opposition Councillors argued that the current system gives “an illusion of choice” whilst penalising some families.


Lib Dem challenge to ‘unfair’ school places plan

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Lib Dem Councillors have issued a formal challenge to B&NES Council’s school places plan on the basis that it unfairly penalises families in South West Bath.


Walcot community up in arms over Riverside building and London Road planters

Over 100 local residents packed into the Riverside Youth Centre on Monday evening (16 April) to protest against Conservative plans to scale back youth services and, in the words of one resident, “degrade London Road” by removing planters and trees installed by the last Lib Dem administration.

Addressing the meeting, Walcot Councillor Richard Samuel called for extra time to be found to plan the changes to the youth service properly and for the London Road planters to be kept where they are.


Conservatives accused of ‘smoke and mirrors’ over garden waste collections

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The Conservatives are trying to hoodwink local residents over charges for garden waste collections say Lib Dem Councillors in B&NES.

Residents are receiving their annual bill for the garden waste service this month. The letter includes a claim that the price has been frozen at £44 alongside an announcement that the service will no longer be provided for three winter months. This means the price per collection is actually going up by 30%.


Conservatives refuse to be transparent about affordable housing

Lib Dem development spokesperson, Councillor Will Sandry, has pressed the Conservative Cabinet to improve transparency around the affordable housing element of new housing developments.


More children should get free school meals say Lib Dems

Changes to eligibility criteria, which come into force next month, will mean some local children will miss out on free school meals say Lib Dem Councillors in B&NES. They have called for the current rules to be maintained so that more children from poorer families can benefit.

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Councillor slams Conservative Cabinet for refusal to publish air quality report

Crucial proposals for improving air quality in Bath will not be made public before they are signed off by the Cabinet members and submitted to government later this month, it has emerged.

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Curo decision ‘tough but right’

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Lib Dem Councillor for Combe Down, Cherry Beath, responds to Curo’s announcement that the planned regeneration of Foxhill has been abandoned in favour of managed refurbishment.


Shortsighted cuts risk lost generation

On Wednesday night I watched with increasing despair as the Conservative Cabinet voted through the budget they’ll put to B&NES Council next week.

They tried to trumpet their fiscal austerity and the balanced budget, but that budget was built on the backs of massive cuts to services that residents rely on in a slash and burn approach that will hurt Bath and North East Somerset for generations.

I was especially angry to see them cut children’s and youth services and I’m proud that the Lib Dems are taking a stand on that particular issue. You can sign the petition against those cuts here.

Last month I attended Paulton Parish Council and at that meeting we were told about the Youth Connect service and what impact it has in our village. The Youth Connect service is one of the youth services that the Cabinet are dispensing with.

Youth Connect helps young people mainly 14-19 years old from the 4 youth hubs (Southside in Twerton, Riverside on London Road, Peasedown St John and Radstock) as well as operating a mobile hub bus. This bus visits Paulton on a regular basis, working with young people in the village.

The Youth Connect website on the B&NES website has more detail on what they offer from “positive activities and advice through to individual support for those who need it the most for moving on into adulthood and work or training”. It also has examples of where they have helped people with complex issues get back into work or onto college courses.

The staff have got to know the young people in Paulton, working alongside them to educate about drugs and alcohol and reduce vandalism. It’s a personal touch that works, keeping minor problems from becoming serious by using relationships built up over time.

Youth Connect have been told their Council funding expires on 30th August and they should be prepared to close. From that day, the experience and relationships the staff have built up will be lost, and, if we are not careful, the young people they help could be lost too.

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