Representing the Community – a better voice for Bath?

Local people and businesses are being asked for their views on community representation in Bath.

A cross-party working group was set up earlier this year to look at how the city is currently governed and suggest how this might change in future. It has now come up with three options:

1. No change

2. A “Voice for Bath” committee (to include co-opted stakeholders as well as B&NES elected members)

3. The ‘parishing’ of Bath – either a single parish for the city or multiple parishes for different parts of the city.

The Bath Guildhall
The Bath Guildhall

Local residents and businesses are being encouraged to put forward their views on these options before 5pm on Tuesday August 26.

Unlike other parts of Bath & North East Somerset, there is no parish council within Bath; the city is governed by Bath & North East Somerset Council acting as the ‘principal authority’.

Bath has 32 ward councillors who sit on Bath & North East Somerset Council. They are also Charter Trustees, responsible for maintaining the ancient Charter and Bath’s civic traditions; it is from these that the Mayor of Bath is elected.

Cllr Paul Crossley (Lib-Dem, Southdown), Leader of Council and spokesman for the cross-party working group, said: “We set up the group to look at this as a result of feedback from local residents at the Bath City Conference . We are keen to know which option provides the easiest way for local people in Bath to have their voices heard on the issues that affect them.”

The interim report can be found here and comments can be made online at

Responses will be considered in preparing a final report to be discussed at a full Bath & North East Somerset Council meeting on Thursday, September 11.

For more information, please contact Mark Hayward on 01225 396975 or e-mail

For your information:

Before local government re-organisation in 1996, the Mayor was the Chairman of Bath City Council. Now the Mayor is Chairman of the Charter Trustees and the Ambassador for the city. This is a non-political role promoting Bath, nationally and internationally, and supporting the local community.

As Charter Trustees the 32 Bath Councillors maintain the traditions and functions of the Mayor and hold historic and ceremonial property, including Charters.

Financially, Charter Trustees are treated as a Parish Council. They raise a precept on the Council tax payers of the City, which must be spent and accounted for in the same way as any other Council.

Each year the Charter Trustees of the City of Bath elect one of their numbers to be their Chairman and Mayor of the City of Bath and another to be Vice Chairman and Deputy Mayor of the City of Bath. They also elect a Committee of seven Charter Trustees to oversee the day-to-day functions of the Mayoralty and the Charter Trustees.