Bath Forum vacancies.

Bath Forum vacancies.

The Bath City Forum is looking for three new co-opted members.

In August 2015 Bath & North East Somerset Council established The Bath City Forum to improve engagement with local residents, businesses and other organisations and to address specific city-wide issues and priorities.


The Bath Guildhall

The Forum works to be advisory and consultative but currently holds no delegated decision-making powers. As well as elected councillors from Bath wards of Bath & North East Somerset Council, the Forum also co-opts up to 13 members who demonstrate a willingness to work in partnership to support the aims of Forum. Co-opted members have voting rights on the Forum.

There are currently three vacancies for co-opted members to join the forum. Being a member of the Forum is an opportunity to feed into the Council the views of the city of Bath.

The Forum meets at least three times a year with extra events and working groups as agreed by the Forum. The Forum works with relevant Cabinet members and Officers and reports back both to the Forum and Cabinet as required.

Councillor Bob Goodman, Chairman of the Bath City Forum, said: “The Bath City Forum is a key voice representing the views of residents, community and business networks, so we are keen to hear from talented and enthusiastic people who will help us share information on important issues to Bath & North East Somerset Council. Anyone who thinks they have something to bring to the Forum is encouraged to apply.”

What the role entails

Co-opted membership of the Bath City Forum is a voluntary role which will contribute to the life of the city and its residents. The role description is set out below:

To attend and participate fully in at least three Forum meetings a year

To engage in other events and working groups that may be arranged to follow up on specific actions or themes

Outside of meetings, to act as a conduit between the work of the Forum to residents’, community and business networks

To collaborate with other Forum members in gaining a shared understanding of issues facing the city and potential solutions

To take the lead on specific actions and themes determined by the Forum

To identify areas for innovation and improvement and to work with others to help deliver agreed projects

To champion the City and the work of the Forum

To bring any specialist expertise, knowledge, experience and networks to the work of the Forum

Support will be provided to Forum members, including induction and online resources. Co-opted membership will initially be for one year with the option to extend.

Co-opted members will be required to meet standards set out in the relevant code of conduct, for example relating to declaration of interests.

How to apply

To apply for this role, please complete and return the application form to:  by noon on Thursday 30 February. Applications will be assessed by a panel from the Bath City Forum using the Person Specification for the role.

For any other enquiries from members of the public, please contact Mark Hayward on 01225 396975.  

Further information about the Bath City Forum, the application form and the Terms of Reference are available at the Bath City Forum website  

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


Citizen of the Year

Citizen of the Year

The 789th Mayor of Bath (Councillor Paul Crossley) is searching for his Citizen of the Year, who must live in Bath, work here, or belong to a group based in the City.

Cllr Paul Crossley

Cllr Paul Crossley, Mayor of Bath.

The Mayor said, ‘A large percentage of the engagements in the Mayoral year involve me meeting an enormous number of individuals who are dedicated to giving their time freely to help others in the City.  This Award is a public way of acknowledging these achievements and contributions.  I look forward to receiving the nominations as I am sure that most people will know someone whose service to the community at large should be recognised.”

If you know of anyone who deserves an award for their long-term voluntary work or a specific extremely noteworthy act, please complete a nomination form, which is available from the Mayor’s Office at the Guildhall, by emailing  or from web site  Nominations must be returned by 9.00am on Monday 20 March 2017.

More damage to Laura Place fountain.

More damage to Laura Place fountain.

More damage spotted on the rim of the basin part of the Laura Place fountain. It’s really not the best time of year to go and view this currently waterless feature.


Rainwater is the only liquid inside the bowl. You can see the damage to the rim edge just where the grey van is passing.

The basin contains a lot of broken glass and broken fragments of Bath stone that have fallen in from damage – frost or human – to the rim.


Broken bottles inside the fountain’s waterless bowl.


Damage to the rim of the basin.

Only last year B&NES carried out repairs. It has since been pointed out that the new stone does not match the carved mini-pillar corners that exist on the other three points  of the basin.


One of the original corners of the fountain’s bowl – showing the mini column carving on the edge.

One gets the feeling the fountain is not high on the Council’s list of city heritage stock. In these hard economic times it is such a shame some local benefactor cannot step in to make a proper job of this feature.


The repaired corner does not have a column carving to match the others around the edge of the basin.

A rare example of Bath celebrating its waters.

Down at the other end of Great Pulteney Street  – and in Sydney Gardens – workmen are doing a fine job of replacing a damaged section of the fencing on one of the Chinoiserie cast and wrought iron footbridge (1800) that span a section of the Kennet and Avon Canal (1799-1810) as it passes through this old Georgian Vauxhall.


Workmen preparing to install a new piece of ornamental fencing on the canal bridge.

Meanwhile on the other – city end bridge – evidence of a worrying international habit of leaving locks as a love symbol on bridges across water.


One of the heart-shaped locks that have been affixed to the canal cast iron work.

It’s sheer vandalism that has completely compromised one bridge across the Seine in Paris and has – more locally – ruined the look of Pero’s Bridge in Bristol. Apart from the look the  extra weight can present a real problem.


Locks on Pero’s Bridge in Bristol.


God knows how much extra weight this bridge over the River Seine is now carrying.

So far the canal bridge has only two locks in place. Here’s hoping park users (and lovers) will keep an eye on things here.

Fuentes l amor (l love fountains!)

Fuentes l amor (l love fountains!)

Just a couple more observations from a short trip to Spain.

Granada – like Bath – has hills covered in houses, shops and hotels and many narrow streets in its  old town centre.


A ‘sprinter’ bus in Granada.

They have something called the ‘C’ bus service – tiny little Mercedes-Benz ‘Sprinter’ vehicles which weave in and out of the streets and are tough enough to tackle the hills too.

An ideal form of transport for so many places in Bath – a city over loaded with bendy and double decker buses and where the outlying areas have to make do with buses that feel and look like ice cream vans.

Followers of Bath Newseum will know l am in favour of this city making more of a physical presence in terms of celebrating its bountiful waters – not just the thermal ones but cold springs and a much abused river.


The Vincent Traver fountain in the centre of the Plaza de Espana in Seville

It should be a city of fountains – of all shapes and sizes.


An illuminated fountain in Granada.

It’s understandable – in today’s economic climate – for the authorities to argue that is no spare cash for watery extravaganzas – but maybe industry and the wealthy who live amongst us could sponsor more than just traffic roundabouts.

A couple of pictures from Granada and Seville shows how glorious jetting water always is.


Park poster states dogs have to be on leads.

Meanwhile can l just point out that dogs in Seville parks have to be on leads and also cyclists get a proper look in with green painted pathways everywhere.


Green painted cycling pathways beside the River Guadalquivir in Seville.

It can be done.


Hotel names and faded crossings.

Hotel names and faded crossings.

Back from a short break in Spain – enjoying the delights of cheap and clean electric trains – and out into Bath city centre.

These observations are all about signs. In Monmouth Street l passed the recently repainted Griffin Inn where it was good to see another example of new sign writing decorating an old building.


‘Craft beer sold here’ says this contemporary example of an old sign-writing tradition.

It’s a  contemporary take on an old tradition marked by the faded advertisements – or ghost signs for long defunct businesses – which are still to be seen everywhere in the city.


They feature in a book called Ghost Signs of Bath – which has been written by Andrew Swift and Kirsten Elliott – and published by Akeman Press.

Not far away in James Street West the latest Apex hotel is taking shape and due for opening in the summer of this year.

The 177 bedroomed 4-star complex will be joining nine other hotels the company owns across the UK.


Not too long now before the scaffolding comes down on Bath’s latest 4 star hotel – but what will the name sign above it’s door actually say?

The Apex hotels website calls it the Apex City of Bath Hotel but l am sure l saw something about a competition to choose a name for the newcomer from a pre-selected list.

None of them struck me as being very much about the new hotel’s historic location.

I can live with ‘City of Bath Apex’ but would prefer they looked across the road and reflected on the once busy Bath terminus of the Somerset and Dorset Railway.

Apex Green Park would strike me as an obvious choice.

While we wait to see what finally goes on that sign can l just point out that the black and white stripes of the crossing  outside the Odeon Cinema Complex are so faded – they look like one of the city’s famous ghost signs!


Not much of this ‘zebra’ marking left to cross on. Some new road marking paint would make it safer.

The paint is so faded – and the Belisha beacons on either pavement so shabby and insignificant – that a visiting driver to Bath may soon not know that he or she is approaching a zebra crossing. Not good news if you are a local pedestrian.

Another road marking that needs replacing!

British Science Week events @ Roman Baths

British Science Week events @ Roman Baths


Families can enjoy a week of fun activities based on the science behind the Roman Baths and its museum objects as part of British Science Week (10-19 March 2017).

The week kicks off with Science Busking on Saturday 11 March, 2-5pm. From discovering Roman pottery found at the Baths to finding out how to test water temperature at the Great Bath, there will be a range of activities to take part in during the day.

roman baths

The Roman Baths.

Throughout the week (13-17 March, 2-4pm), hands-on science events will be running with the chance to explore coins, mosaics and bones from the museum collection.

The week ends with Bath Taps into Science (18 March, 10am-4pm) a day of science investigations at Royal Victoria Park, by the bandstand, organised by the University of Bath. Visitors will be able to find out how the Romans built arches, have a go at building one, and learn about the technology behind aquaducts.

Cllr Patrick Anketell-Jones (Conservative, Lansdown), Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “British Science Week at the Roman Baths is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate and explore the science used by the Romans, with an array of activities for all ages. All events are free for local residents with a Discovery Card.”

No advance booking required. Children must be accompanied by an adult.



About the Roman Baths

The Roman Baths is located at the heart of the World Heritage City of Bath. Here, the Romans built a magnificent temple and bathing complex on the site of Britain’s only hot spring, which still flows with naturally hot water. Visitors can walk around the Great Bath where people bathed nearly 2,000 years ago, see the ruins of the temple of Minerva, and explore the Roman Baths museum. Run by Bath & North East Somerset Council, the Roman Baths attracts more than 1 million visitors a year, making it one of the most visited heritage attractions in the United Kingdom.

About British Science Week

British Science Week is a 10-day celebration of the best of British science, technology, engineering and maths, featuring fascinating, entertaining and engaging events across the UK. British Science Week is organised by the British Science Association; funded by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills; and supports the Your Life campaign ( For more information visit

Could you give a refugee child a home?

Could you give a refugee child a home?

Bath & North East Somerset Council is looking for foster homes for unaccompanied asylum seeking children.


Councils across England have agreed with the Government to take a set number of children. Bath & North East Somerset Council will take 23 young people over the next two years.

Most of the children will come from Afghanistan, Albania, Iraq and Eritrea with some from Syria. The children will need to be placed in caring foster homes.

Councillor Michael Evans (Conservative, Midsomer Norton North), Cabinet Member for Children’s Services said: “We are all aware of unaccompanied children fleeing from Syria and desperately in need of homes. We as a Council want to do what we can to help some of these young people who have been left traumatised after living in war zones, being trafficked across Europe at the mercy of people smugglers, physically and sexually assaulted, separated from their families and the death and serious injury of family and friends.

“We have already welcomed eight Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC) to Bath and North East Somerset and we are committed to providing caring homes for a further 15 children over the next two years. But we need help from existing foster carers and those who are thinking about becoming foster carers.

“As a result of the distress and trauma experienced these young people may display challenging behaviour and so will need foster carers who have the skills needed to help them settle and feel secure to help them live comfortably in the UK and begin to access the skilled help they will need to start to deal with their traumas.”

Most of the asylum seeking young people needing foster homes, are male and aged 14 and over.

Helping to change lives for the better

Samul* came from Albania in 2015. He already spoke some English and quickly improved. He is now about to sit his GCSEs and is predicted As and A*s. He plans to attend sixth form and university as he aspires to work in medicine.

Foster carer, Keith Gittens, said: “A young man from Syria stayed with us until he was 18 in late 2013. He then moved in to his own flat. This was a very rewarding placement and four years later he still visits weekly, for a chat or a meal, he calls my wife his mother in the UK.”

Haydar* is Kurdish. When he arrived in mid-2016 he spoke only a small amount of English and has had difficulties with cultural differences, especially around school behaviour. However, he is a very receptive learner and is starting to adapt his behaviour, he is working on improving his English as he would like to be a mechanic.

The Bath and North East Somerset Virtual School offers extra help to students who are learning English and there is also lots of emotional support available to these young people and their carers. Keith said: “The biggest difficulty is that the boys come to us when they are around 15 to 16 years old. This gives them around three years to leave school speaking English and with enough qualifications to either go to college or get an apprenticeship, some will make it to university.

“Whatever these children aspire to, you as the carer need to put in the work through encouragement and pushing them on to achieve as the window of opportunity is very short. As a carer you’re relied on to support these children and you will get all the rewards you ever wanted from fostering a child.”
Most foster carers have suggested that UASC settle well and are happy to have someone they can rely on and a sense of certainty after so much uncertainty.

Keith added: “When it comes to respecting us and the home, they are always very respectful, they treat my wife as they would their own mother, they carry her shopping bags, do the washing up, take out the rubbish and keep their bedrooms spotless.”

Fostering gives you the chance to see a young person’s progression and help them with a life change. One foster carer said that “fostering Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children is challenging, but really rewarding.”

How you can help improve a child’s life

There has already been a noted push of people wanting to help, with organisations such as Bath Welcomes Refugees showing just how welcoming and caring those in Bath and North East Somerset are.

Anyone interested in caring for Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children will need to be a fully assessed foster carer. There is no national or local scheme enabling you to be a short term ‘host’ family; anyone interested in caring for Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children (UASC) needs to be approved as a general foster carer.

Anyone who would like to care for UASC will need to become a foster carer and complete the extra necessary training designed to prepare for and help UASC.

Councillor Evans said: “We hope that anyone who wishes to foster asylum seeking childrenUASC would also be open to fostering B&NES children in Bath and North East Somerset whilst they wait for and prepare for UASC.”

Pete Campbell, Service Manager, Care Outcomes, said: “I’m confident there are many households in this area who could help us meet the challenge to provide homes for young people who no longer have safe, stable and loving homes in their home countries. I would like to invite you to work with us in our Children’s Services Team and our colleagues in education, health and community groups to provide the very best care and opportunities for this group of young people.”

If you would like to find out more about fostering UASC, a special information session is being held on Wednesday 22 February, 6-8pm, at 117 Newbridge Hill, Bath. Please call the Bath & North East Somerset Council Family Placement Team on 01225 394949 to book your place and for more information about fostering and UASC fostering.

*The names have been changed to protect the identities of the children and young people