Bath’s lantern parade gets a revival!

Bath’s lantern parade gets a revival!

A bit of good news to brighten our gathering autumnal gloom. Looks like all is NOT lost as far as Bath’s annual lantern procession is concerned.


One of the amazing lanterns from the Holburne Museum’s lantern processions which sadly have come to an end.

The original event –  which processed into the city centre along Great Pulteney Street – was organised by the Holburne Museum.

However they were reluctantly forced into dropping the attraction because it just cost too much in time and money.


Another lantern from the original Great Pulteney Street parade.

But now there’s hope on the horizon – thanks to Bath Fringe and the support of Walcot  traders.

To find out more, Bath Newseum went down to Walcot Street –  and to Bath Aqua Glass – to speak to Adrian Dolan.

Wheelies on the way!

Wheelies on the way!


Bath & North East Somerset Council is changing the way it collects rubbish from 6 November.

The Council will soon be collecting rubbish every other week in wheeled bins or re-usable bags for the majority of residents. The changes will help to keep the streets cleaner, increase recycling and make the services more affordable.

Recycling – including food waste – will continue to be collected weekly. The chargeable garden waste collections will remain every other week.

From 25 September to early November the Council will deliver wheeled bins or re-usable rubbish bags to around 78,000 households. Please continue to put out your rubbish as you normally do until the new collection starts.

It is important that you do not use your new wheeled bin or re-usable rubbish bag until the new collection starts as we won’t be able to collect it.

Helping residents to get ready for the changes

Councillor Bob Goodman (Conservative, Combe Down), Cabinet Member for Development & Neighbourhoods, said: “The Council has held over 100 recycling roadshows and talks across Bath and North East Somerset between September 2016 and August 2017, to help our residents to get ready for the changes – which will help encourage people to recycle more, keep streets clean and save money.

“In addition, we’ve listened to those residents who have asked for a change to their bin allocation, and we have made a number of changes, where possible, in response to their individual circumstances. In over half the cases, processed so far, where residents have requested a different bin or bag, the Council has agreed to this request.”

Rachel from Camerton

Rachel Graydon (pictured with her son), from Camerton, said: “We’re looking forward to getting a wheeled bin because we have lots of cats near us that tear the bin bags open.”

How will the bins and bags be delivered?

The wheeled bins will be delivered to the front edge of your property with a printed address label on the back and a welcome pack tucked into the lid. It is fine if you wish to decorate your bin, such as adding a bin wrap or painting your house number on, but the bin does remain the property of the Council.

If you have been allocated a re-usable rubbish bag it will be delivered to your door and your welcome pack put through your letter box. If you already have a re-usable rubbish bag please use your new one from 6 November. We will collect old re-useable bags  at the end of October so that everyone is using the best containers for the new service.

Your welcome pack will include:

  • An 8 page leaflet with full information on how to use the new service and a reminder of all the things you can recycle each week
  • A new collection calendar for 2017-18 showing your collection day and Christmas collection information – please check carefully as your collection day is likely to have changed. To help you get used to your new collection day you can sign up for texts for the first 3 months to remind you when your collection is due. Text your postcode to 07520 631700 to receive a reminder
  • Two stickers for you to put on your green boxes to help you sort your recycling

You can check whether you have been allocated a bin or bag by entering your address at  or contacting Council Connect.

If you have a query with your allocation please contact the Council Connect waste enquiry line on 01225 39 40 00.  Where households have 2 or more children in nappies, 6 or more people in their household or a clear medical need they may be able to apply for a larger bin.

Council Connect will talk through your needs, and then if appropriate pass on your request for a change of container. We will contact you to let you know the outcome of your request.  In the meantime, your original allocated container will be delivered to you before the start of the new collection.  If we agree to issue an alternative container, we will then exchange them.

Why are the changes being introduced?

  • To recycle more:

Bath & North East Somerset Council has a very comprehensive recycling collection service where you can already recycle 17 different types of household waste every week, but some residents could recycle more.  About 75% of a household’s waste can be recycled using the current collections, but over half of an average rubbish bag consists of items that could have been recycled. The change will also help to encourage everyone to use their food recycling collection – only about 50% of households currently use this. About a third of the waste in black sacks currently is food.

  • To keep our streets cleaner:

Containing rubbish in a bin will prevent animals and birds ripping open plastic bags and making a mess which is unpleasant for everyone and costly to clear up.

  • To save money:

Every lorry load of waste costs £1,000 to dispose of whilst every lorry load of recycling earns an income of £100. So reducing the amount put out as rubbish is essential, because the amount of money the Council has to spend is reducing significantly overall.

Help to recycle more

  • Please make sure you recycle all you can, including your food waste. You can order extra free recycling containers at If you prefer, you can collect recycling containers at one of our three Recycling Centres, rather than wait for one to be delivered
  • Check our website for the latest updates about the changes. Check to see if your query is answered in over 30 FAQs we have on our
  • Visit one of our roadshows to see the new containers and find out more. Go to
  • Try using re-usable nappies to help reduce your rubbish. To help you we are selling packs of Bambino Mio re-usable nappies for £150 (£100 less than the retail price)
  • Keen to keep your street clean? Help your neighbours recycle more and put out their rubbish and recycling in the right way. Download free materials from 6 November:
  • Like our Facebook page to receive updates and tips.
Alice Park skateboard facility gets go ahead.

Alice Park skateboard facility gets go ahead.

Plans for a new children’s skate park at Alice Park in Bath have been given the go-ahead by Bath & North East Somerset Council.

The Council’s Cabinet Member for Development & Neighbourhoods, Cllr Bob Goodman, has given approval for £97,000 to be awarded to the Alice Park Trust to enable work to start on the new facility, with any underspend being used for other play area improvements.

Alice Park

Plans for the skate park have been developed with the Council by the new Alice Park Trust, which includes both councillors and residents.

The Trust was established in 2015 to oversee park management and meet the obligations set out within the covenant which covers Alice Park.

Chair of the Alice Park Trust, Councillor Michael Norton, said: “Alice Park is one of Bath’s most valued community assets, and the Alice Park Trust is very mindful of the need to balance the interests of all park users as well as local residents in the area.

“We considered carefully various proposals for a new skate facility in the park and concluded that a new skate facility aimed at children and learners would benefit local families and park users.

“Taking on board comments from park users and residents, the Trust has also agreed to modify the original skate park plans so that the facility now planned is of a smaller scale and less intrusive to the existing park.

Alice Park

Alice Park

“The Trust is also keen to see improvements to other facilities in the park, so we are pleased that the Council has agreed that any surplus left over from building the skate park can be used towards other play area improvements.”

Councillor Bob Goodman, (Conservative, Combe Down), Cabinet Member for Development & Neighbourhoods, said: “This funding is part of our commitment to invest in improved facilities for children and young people throughout our area, as well as encourage healthy recreational activities.

“This new facility aimed at children and learners will also complement Bath’s larger skate park for more experienced skateboarders in Victoria Park, while at the same time ensuring the needs of all those who use and enjoy Alice Park have been taken on board in producing these plans.

Alice Park

Alice Park.

“ I’m therefore pleased to confirm that the Council has now approved the funding needed to allow this skate park to go ahead.”

The skate park has also attracted £30,000 of private donations, £20,000 from the Medlock Trust and a private donation of £10,000 by an anonymous Larkhall resident.

The operational management will be undertaken by the Council’s parks department as part of its agreement with the Alice Park Trust, but the skate park users will be encouraged to keep the skate park litter-free.

Other possible sites in eastern Bath were considered for the facility, but none were considered suitable. A public consultation was carried out in 2014.

The park, which is located at the A4/Gloucester Road junction, currently has a playground but no facilities that are aimed at older children and young people.

The operational management of the facility will be undertaken by the Alice Park Trust sub-committee.

The decision to go ahead is subject to a possible call-in.

What’s your view on city parking?

What’s your view on city parking?

Prioritising the parking needs of residents, reducing congestion to improve air quality and discouraging long stay parkers with price increases. Just some of the proposals that Bath & North East Somerset Council is seeking people’s views about with its new parking strategy, which aims to balance the needs of the wide variety of communities across the district.Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 05.08.00


The strategy is based on previous public consultation, and the views that people have already expressed about parking. It also aims to balance the needs of local people and businesses, and a range of social, economic and environmental issues, such as air quality and congestion.

The Council has set out long-term plans for parking that fit with its wider aim to tackle congestion, improve air quality, ease parking pressures, and ensure a thriving economy that will benefit us all. With this in mind – and taking account of what local people have told us about parking – our proposals aim to:

  • Prioritise the parking needs of residents and disabled users
  • Reduce areas of congestion with the knock-on effect of better air quality
  • Support local business
  • Balance increased demand for parking against limited availability in the city
  • Support the regeneration of our key towns
  • Tailor solutions to the needs of different areas.
  • Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 05.08.12

Cllr Mark Shelford (Conservative, Lyncombe), Cabinet Member for Transport & Environment, said: “The demand for parking, and how the Council can best manage this demand in the interests of residents, businesses and our environment, is one of the biggest issues affecting communities across Bath & North East Somerset.

“No single initiative can on its own reduce congestion, improve air quality and manage the increasing demand on our road networks as the area grows. Therefore, what we need are joined-up plans and incentives that encourage people to choose sustainable transport options wherever possible. At the same time, we also need to consider the important role that parking plays in supporting our local economy.

“Our proposed parking strategy therefore seeks to balance the needs of all residents, road users and local businesses, and is just one aspect of our wider approach to managing congestion whilst supporting economic growth.

Screen Shot 2017-09-19 at 05.08.29

“The Council recently consulted with local people to gain a better understanding of how parking affects them, and their responses have been critical in shaping this strategy. We’ve done our best to balance the needs of the whole community, with the aim of putting residents, disabled users and local businesses first. The proposals contained within our draft parking strategy will now be subject to a further final round of public consultation, and so I would encourage residents, businesses and all interested parties to respond to this consultation and give their views.”

The strategy is committed to ensuring that free parking continues where it’s already available – including South Road in Midsomer Norton, Church Road in Radstock, Larkhall and Denmark Street in Bath – to encourage patronage of local shops, restaurants and services.

Parking charges across the area will be periodically assessed to ensure they are comparative with privately-owned car parks in the same area. Parking charges in the centre of Bath and Keynsham will be managed to discourage long-stay/ commuter use, with on-street longer-stay tariffs in Bath (of more than 2 or 3 hours) being reviewed.

Find out more and give your feedback

You can read the full consultation report and give your feedback online at Printed versions of our summary and survey are available from any of our libraries and one stop shops, where you can also review the full strategy. The public engagement runs until 23 October, 2017.

Drop-in sessions

Members of the Council’s Parking Services Team will be available to answer your questions at the following drop-in sessions:

  • Midsomer Norton Town Hall, 27 September, 1-8pm
  • The Guildhall, Bath, 28 September, 1-8pm
  • Keynsham Community Space, 29 September, 3.30-9pm.

Coach Strategy

The Council has also produced a dedicated Coach Strategy to help reduce disruption to residents caused by insensitive coach parking in the city.

Cllr Mark Shelford added: “We recognise that coach parking is a major issue for many people in Bath, which is why we are proposing some limited short-stay coach parking and getting the majority of coaches out of the city centre to keep Bath moving.

“We are also keen to hear people’s views on our proposals for coach parking and how it will improve traffic flow, and we encourage anyone interested to have their say in our Coach Strategy consultation too.”

The Coach Strategy proposes long-stay coach parking on the outskirts of the city at Odd Down Park & Ride, supported by specific pick-up and drop-off points at strategic on-street places within the city, with waiting times restricted to 20 minutes. Very limited short-stay coach parking for 1.5 hours is proposed at Green Park and the A4 lay-by.

For more information on the full Coach Strategy and how you can take part in the public engagement, please visit

For Your Information

The proposals have been informed by public consultation and the views expressed by local people.

Our consultation involved sending targeted letters and conducting face-to-face meetings, telephone interviews and online surveys with residents, local business groups, parish and town councils, residents’ organisations, disabled users, freight and transport organisations, taxi drivers, cyclists, and other public sector and voluntary organisations.

This process has helped us to understand what really matters to local people, and to prepare proposals that work for everyone, while putting the needs of residents, disabled users and local businesses first.

You can read the full consultation report online at



On the Queen Square trail

On the Queen Square trail

With Bath’s amazing Roman remains – and outstanding Georgian architecture – it will come as no surprise to hear that there are plenty of guide books and histories in the bookshops to choose when you come to look around this World Heritage city.

There are plenty of guided tours to join too.


The Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution in Queen Square.

So what’s different about the city ‘trails’ being created by volunteers at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution.

Well l can tell you.

The people creating them are all under the age of 18 – and these are self-guided walks designed with young people in mind!


Some of the trail leaflets the youngsters at BRSLI have helped produce.

So far they’ve published leaflets covering everything from Adelard – the local man who became England’s first mathematician – to a Science Trail that will introduce you to Bath’s famous scientists, explorers and inventors.


The youngsters who want your help in producing a leaflet on Queen Square.

The latest leaflet being prepared involves finding out more about a modest park area on the doorstep of the BRSLI – the lawn in Queen Square.


Beatrice Richens and Ralph Bridge are two of the young people leading the research into the Queen Square lawn.

The youngsters involved in research are members of  the Young BRSLI or Science Cadets – and they need your help.

tree trail ed

Here’s a rough idea of how far they have got with the new Queen Square trail.

tree trail front and back

They still need to hear from anyone with a story to tell which involves the tree-covered lawn in the middle of Queen Square – so they can expand on its social history.


Lisa Buddrus and some of the youngsters involved in producing the new trail leaflet.

I asked Coordinator, Lisa Buddrus to tell me more.

If you think you can help with the Queen Square research or want to find out more information about the trail leaflets or Young BRSLI then the contact email is:

That’s the one to use to find out more on the Young BRLSI or book onto workshops and the Young Researchers, too.

You can also check out the BRSLI website https://www.brlsi.org

The Institution is also recruiting for the BRSLI Young Researchers. So please look below!

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 11.24.25

Screen Shot 2017-09-18 at 11.24.58

In an English country garden

In an English country garden

If English country houses and landscaped gardens ‘float your boat’ then look no further than a lecture course on the subject being organised in Bath.

It’s being held at the Bath Royal Literary and Scientific Institution and organised by Professor Tim Mowl FSA who will give the first lecture each morning – followed by other scholars in the field.

Full details below:

Screen Shot 2017-09-17 at 12.18.46

The mess that is Westgate Street.

The mess that is Westgate Street.

Poor, beleaguered Westgate Street. Scaffolding on one side means no safe footpath for pedestrians – while vehicles on the other make it so dangerous.


Westgate Street – not the easiest to walk down at present – and a bit of a mess.

It’s got to be the most ugly, damaged thoroughfare in the centre of Bath. The private yard to one side of Greggs is also a filthy mess. I have already emailed Environmental Health about it.


A private yard – next to Greggs – but its strewn with litter and a real disgrace.

Meanwhile it’s good to see the ground floor of the re-built and still war-scarred Labour Exchange in James Street West is now occupied. Upstairs is student accommodation and on pavement level – and open to the general public too –  Nisbets Catering Equipment.


Good to know Bath’s old Labour Exchange has a bright future. What was left from the Bath Blitz has formed the basis of a new block of student accommodation with the ground floor well and truly let!

It’s a company – based in Bristol’s Avonmouth district – spreading its wings into Bath. Very often re-developments end up with the retail space lying empty for ages This one didn’t.


Doing a great job on re-shaping the river bank but when will this new facility open?

While in the area l popped along to the River Avon  to see if the newly re-shaped riverbank was now open to the public. The cycle path is – though there are signs saying get off your bike!


The new flood barrier is getting a Bath stone coating!

Across the river work c continues on facing the newly-constructed cement flood barriers with something more fitting for our World Heritage city!