Students help keep streets clean.

Students help keep streets clean.

The Student Community Partnership (SCP) of Bath & North East Somerset Council, and both of the city’s universities have been shortlisted for a National Recycling Award for their campaign to help students keep the streets clean, and move out of their properties for the summer in the best way – donating as they go – for the British Heart Foundation.

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The campaign so far has seen over 6,000 bags of clothes, shoes, books, bric-a-brac, stationery, CDs and DVDs and sheets and pillow cases donated by students of the University of Bath and Bath Spa University through the on and off campus donation banks.

The temporary donation banks, arranged as part of the campaign in the Oldfield Park area of Bath have proved particularly successful with over 3,500 bags being donated through the 7 banks.

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Along with the donation banks there have been a series of road shows on and off campus and 1,300 properties were door knocked by SCP officers, student volunteers and Council Waste Campaigns staff to give advice to students about recycling more and planning ahead to reduce end of term waste.

Councillor Martin Veal (Conservative, Bathavon North) Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “The Council continues to work closely with its partners to keep the streets clear of rubbish and help students donate items they no longer need. It’s great that this work has been recognised by being shortlisted for a National Recycling Award. The donations will go a long way to securing the funding for the valuable research and lifesaving activities carried out by the British Heart Foundation.”

The winner of the waste prevention category at the MRW National Recycling Awards will be announced today – the 28th June 2017.

The temporary banks will be removed at the end of July.

Stonewall champions B&NES for celebrating LGBT equality in schools.

Stonewall champions B&NES for celebrating LGBT equality in schools.

 

Stonewall – Britain’s lesbian, gay, bi and trans equality charity – has named Bath and North-East Somerset Council as the best local authority for tackling anti-LGBT bullying and celebrating difference in its schools.

The Council came number one in the Education Equality Index 2017, a list of the Top 10 local authorities in Britain.

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The Bath Guildhall

Now in its seventh year, the Index remains a vital tool for local authorities to benchmark their success in making local schools inclusive of LGBT issues and young people, measuring practice and policy at all the participating local authorities.

Bath & North East Somerset Council once again lead the way, working to celebrate difference and challenge homophobia, biphobia and transphobia in schools as well as support LGBT young people in their local community.

Having been inspired by a presentation at a Stonewall Education Seminar, the Council has actively encouraged schools and other youth settings to develop children and young people-led Equality Teams (E-Teams) to work collaboratively on campaigns around diversity and inclusion.

Children and young people led the campaign to make their local area a more inclusive place to live, work and study.

There are now over 50 E-Teams in the area many of which are focusing their activities on celebrating difference and challenging discriminatory language.

The Council’s LGBT youth group, SPACE developed an excellent coming out guide for parents. Trans members of the group also shared their experiences at an event held for Transgender Day of Remembrance, which featured a session with the CEO of Gendered Intelligence, Jay Stewart, and trans actress Rebecca Root, star of Boy Meets Girl (BBC) and The Danish Girl.

Thanks to its excellent work ensuring LGBT-inclusivity in the Early Years Foundation Stage (EYFS), Bath & North East Somerset Council has also supported Stonewall to develop its forthcoming guide on celebrating difference and challenging gender stereotypes in EYFS.

Councillor Tim Warren, Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council, said: ‘We are delighted that Bath & North East Somerset Council has once again gained top ranking in the Stonewall Equality Index 2017.  One of our key strengths is the fantastic partnership working that goes on between the Local Authority, schools and external agencies. And I must say a huge thank you to all the young people in our area who are helping us to make the area a more inclusive place to live, work and visit – we couldn’t have achieved this top place without their ideas and efforts.’

Sarah Rose, Senior Account Manager at Stonewall, said: ‘We’ve seen outstanding work from all of those local authorities that have participated in this year’s Education Equality Index – especially our Top 10 and our award winners.

‘Bath & North East Somerset Council has shone with its phenomenal initiatives and inspiring work with and for local young people, working to celebrate difference and challenge homophobia, biphobia and transphobia.’

The launch of the Index coincides with the release of Stonewall research, the School Report, a comprehensive survey into the experiences of young people, aged 11 – 19 years old, in Britain’s schools in 2017.

Stonewall works directly with over 1000 primary, secondary and special schools, as well as pupil referral units to help them celebrate difference and tackle anti-LGBT bullying.

The School Report 2017 found that anti-LGBT bullying has decreased substantially over the past decade.

Other results showed that seven in ten bullied LGBT pupils say teachers who are present during homophobic, biphobic and transphobic bullying do not intervene.

 

Autumn opening for new riverside walk?

Autumn opening for new riverside walk?

The newly shaped and landscaped bank of the River Avon – along from Churchill Bridge – continues to take shape.

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Looking onto the newly shaped river bank from the Churchill Bridge end.

Chatting to one workman, he said they hoped it would be ready for people to use by early autumn.

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Looking onto the newly shaped river bank – and towards Churchill Bridge.

Apparently, the little medieval bridge that was uncovered during an archaeological dig on the site IS being restored ‘in situ’ but he said ‘the authorities’ had still not decided how to present it.

I feel another check is necessary. I do keep pushing on this one.

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The new concrete flood wall near Churchill Bridge.

Across the river, the building of a flood retention wall continues apace. It really is taking on the shape of being Bath’s WALL.

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The new flood wall looking towards Churchill Bridge.

While work on both sides of the Avon is part of a scheme to widen the river’s capacity – and reduce the risk of flooding to homes and businesses at this point – l do hope they are going to face the concrete with something more attractive to soften the look.

Bath Water Space project launch

Bath Water Space project launch

Bath’s Water Space project has officially launched its plans to revitalise the river and canals in the Bath area.

Bath & North East Somerset Council has for the past year been working with the Environment Agency, the Canal and & River Trust and Wessex Water to identify opportunities to deliver enhancements to the River Avon and Kennet and Avon Canal (Dundas Aqueduct to Bath to Hanham Lock).

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The canal towpath through Bath’s Sydney Gardens.

The River Avon corridor is undergoing significant redevelopment of brownfield sites and is the focus for major new development in Bath. With this comes real opportunities to revitalise both the River Avon and Kennett & Avon Canal waterways, for people and nature.

The Water Space project has gathered data, mapped information, and generated ideas to work with the community and public, private and voluntary bodies to identify 35 projects and project ideas to revitalise the waterways.

Consultation with local groups on priority projects was carried out by the Water Space project earlier this year.

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The River Avon

Cllr Martin Veal, Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Cabinet Member for Community Services, said: “We are taking a strong partnership approach to developing our waterways. The Water Space project has developed an evidence-based plan for investment in 16 miles of waterway along the River Avon and Kennet and Avon Canal.

It has identified opportunities to improve green spaces and parks, enhance biodiversity, create moorings, realise safe access for sport and leisure and improve public spaces and paths.

The views of residents have been listened to both during and since the consultation on this document and the updated proposals seek to reflect these.  Funding for a number of projects has already been secured and the Water Space team are now working to deliver an investment plan.”

The Water Space Project was the overall winner at this year’s Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) South West Regional Awards for Planning Excellence, the ceremony took place at the Assembly Rooms in Bath on Wednesday, June 7. The project was also recognised as one of the top 8 projects nationally in planning for the natural environment.

 

RTPI South West Chair, David Lowin said: “The Water Space Project is an excellent example of partnership working to realise the potential for future investment along these waterways whilst balancing economic and environmental issues. An impressive feature is the extensive consultation undertaken, in particular with the boating community. This study, and its evidence base, will be a significant factor in the establishment of future planning policies and the determination of planning applications in and around the city of Bath.”

 

Find out more at www.waterspacebath.org.uk

Protect The Min’s historic status says BPT

Protect The Min’s historic status says BPT

Bath Preservation Trust has this week submitted a nomination to Bath and North East Somerset Council for the Royal National Hospital for Rheumatic Diseases (the ‘Min’) to be classed as an ‘asset of community value’ under the Localism Act 2011. 

The Trust has done this because of the Min’s central role in the social history of the Bath, its relationship to the Outstanding Universal Value of the World Heritage Site and its place in serving the community for nearly 300 years.

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Part of GVA’s sales brochure for The Min.

The Trust is not in a position to bid for the Min but wishes to give the best opportunity for any bid to deliver substantial public benefit, substantial public access and the potential for some usage which relates to the health provision which has been based in this historic building.

BPT has participated in discussions which look at co-locating Bath Spa University’s Fashion and Textiles Department, the Fashion Museum and some of the Min’s Bath-related medical collections in the context of a commercial bid also offering hotel and treatment space.

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The facade of the original building. An extension was added in 1860.

Caroline Kay, Chief Executive of Bath Preservation Trust, said,

“We recognise that the RUH wishes to sell the Min in order to raise funds for the continuing treatment of sick patients, and of course that is a necessary and laudable aim. However, the listed building, created by John Wood, Ralph Allen and Beau Nash for public benefit, is central to the social and architectural history of the City and deserves to be given the best chance of retaining that spirit of public service.

Registering the Min as an Asset of Community Value would, we hope, encourage any commercial bidder to realise that the building has a cultural importance in the City of Bath which transcends its simple development potential. It would allow more time for a credible bid to come together which took these factors into account and recognised the need for continuing public access.”

Shining a light on history

Shining a light on history

The Roman Baths will host a special evening of archaeological discovery, ‘Bath’s Archaeology by Torchlight’, on Monday 17 July, 5-9pm. The event is part of the national Festival of Archaeology (www.archaeologyfestival.org.uk).

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Visitors of all ages will be able to explore the Roman Baths museum and see the torchlit Great Bath. There’ll be a range of archaeology-themed activities to try, including having a go at identifying archaeological objects.

A new digital heritage mapping project, Know Your Place West of England (www.kypwest.org.uk), will also be on display, allowing visitors to see how Bath and North East Somerset has changed over time by comparing historic and modern maps of the area.

Cllr Patrick Anketell-Jones, (Conservative, Lansdown) Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “This is a wonderful opportunity for people to find out about our local archaeology and explore the Roman Baths by torchlight. The event is free for Bath and North East Somerset residents with a Discovery Card.”

Children must be accompanied by an adult. Normal admission charges apply (free for local Discovery Card holders). Roman Baths tickets can be booked online at www.romanbaths.co.uk.

 

Feeling a bit browned off.

Feeling a bit browned off.

Is this the problem with container-grown trees when it comes to extreme heat and dryness? All the young saplings – in their metal troughs along the London Road – appear to be distressed and the leaves turning brown.

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Container trees along London Road don’t look too healthy?

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Another brown leafed container tree.

The ones in the middle of the road – planted in the soil – are fine and green.

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Taken from moving car but hope you can see trees on pavement are brown and those in middle of road are still green.

Talking of containers. Flower plantings in the city centre – like here in Milsom Street – are in black plastic. Though they apparently help retain water for longer, not everyone likes the look.

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Black plastic tubs in Milsom Street help retain water.

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Hanging baskets in Milsom Street. Good water retention but what about the colour and material?

Compare hanging baskets down in Abbey Green. What do you think?

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Hanging baskets in Abbey Green.

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Another Abbey Green variation on the hanging basket theme.

Meanwhile – again in Milsom Street – a section of  Somersetshire Buildings – originally constructed as up-market lodging houses by Thomas Baldwin (1781-3) – continues in its transition from Nat West bank to latest Ivy Brasserie.

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The hoarding going up in Milsom Street.

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Guess who is coming to town?

Street advertising never looked so prominent. We have to wait until the autumn to see if the food is as tasteful.