Positive start for new Bath City Forum

The future of community health and care services and pressures on land use in Bath were on the agenda at the first meeting of the Bath City Forum, held at the Guildhall on Tuesday 13 October.

The meeting follows the establishment of the new Forum by Bath & North East Somerset Council in July. It will consider the key issues affecting the City and will assist and advise the Council on issues specific to Bath.

The meeting heard about the Placemaking Plan, and in particular about the pressures on the City relating to office, retail, housing and hotel space. The meeting also discussed the demand for new student accommodation in the City

Cllr Bob Goodman - new Chair of the Bath Forum.

Cllr Bob Goodman – new Chair of the Bath Forum.

The first meeting also saw the election of Chair and Vice-Chair of the Forum. These were Cllr Bob Goodman (Conservative, Combe Down) and Cllr Paul Crossley (Liberal Democrat, Southdown), respectively.

Cllr Bob Goodman said: “It is an immense privilege – not only to be given the chance to be on this newly formed Forum, but also to be nominated as the Chair. Bath is my home and it is a unique City.

Although the universities and the tourists are an integral part of the growth of the City, it is also important that the City’s residents have a voice in its growth and evolution in years to come. I intend to use my experience to the best of my ability to ensure Bath is an integral part of BANES and the wider region.”

The Forum has 12 Bath ward councillors serving on it as well as a Cabinet member, Cllr Patrick Anketell-Jones (Conservative, Lansdown), Cabinet Member for Economic Development. Plans are underway to co-opt up to 13 people from Bath’s communities to the Forum to strengthen local partnership working to help meet its aims. The meeting heard that 36 applications had been received for the 13 co-optee places and the meeting agreed to establish a selection panel to consider the applications

The Council’s Chief Executive, Dr Jo Farrar, is Bath & North East Somerset Council officer sponsor of the Forum.

Cllr Patrick Anketell-Jones said: “I would like particularly to thank those who have put themselves forward

Cllr Patrick Anketell-Jones, Cabinet Member for Economic Development.

Cllr Patrick Anketell-Jones, Cabinet Member for Economic Development.

for consideration to serve on the Forum. We’ve made a good start and we need to make sure this new body is effective and dynamic, bringing people together who can work collaboratively to make our City an even better place to live.”

The 12 Bath ward Councillors nominated to sit on the Forum are: Cllr Lin Patterson – Green; Cllr June Player – Independent; Cllr Joe Rayment – Labour; Cllr Paul Crossley – Liberal Democrat; Cllr Andy Furse – Liberal Democrat; Cllr Rob Appleyard – Liberal Democrat; Cllr Shaun McGall – Liberal Democrat; Cllr Michael Norton – Conservative; Cllr Fiona Darey – Conservative; Cllr Peter Turner – Conservative; Cllr Bob Goodman – Conservative; Cllr Chris Pearce – Conservative.

The proposals for the Forum were developed by a cross-party working group of Councillors, established last year to look at options for strengthening civic representation in Bath using input from local residents and community groups. Following debate it was agreed by Council that it would not have delegated funding or decision-making powers.

The Forum will be hosting a special “Budget Fair” consultation event on Thursday 26th November in the Guildhall and its next full meeting will be in January.

More information is available by following the Bath City Forum on Twitter: @bath_forum.