What’s going to change – post-Covid 19 – as far as the city of Bath is concerned?
Well, for starters, l think that’s the end of planning applications for more student accommodation.
With the overseas, incoming variety now being scarce on the ground, our two universities aren’t exactly going to be bursting at the seams.
Something else that seems to have disappeared is the city’s gulls. No doubt they’ll be back when increased numbers of humans start messing up the pavements again with a free supply of food.
Meanwhile, the Department for Culture has been warned that – without a rescue package – some of the country’s collections and historic buildings are at risk of being “broken up and sold off” due to insolvency. Let’s hope that’s not true for any of our museums and collections in Bath!
How many of our hotels and guest houses will fall by the wayside and shops and cafes close?
On the plus side, maybe the council will finally get government agreement on licencing ‘party houses’ and getting some taxes out of them.
The city’s Clean Air Zone has been pushed into next year and – with many regarding the car ‘bubble’ as being the safest way to travel to work or to shop – we can expect pollution levels to climb back to normal and beyond.
B&NES is millions of pounds over budget so there are ‘tough decisions’ to be made on council services. Pure speculation on my part but expect your black bag collection service to be monthly for starters? Maybe they’ll start charging at recycling centres, up the car parking charges and parking fines too.
Street lighting could be re-figured to come on later and go off earlier.
On the culture side – is the Discovery Card safe? Will they sell the Roman Baths to Disney or Centre Parc to raise cash? Will libraries charge for book loans? Will they sell off some of their property base to help swell the dwindling coffers.
One thing is for sure this is going to knock a big hole in the authority’s reserves.
I am not meaning to be a scaremonger and maybe – even at this late stage – the Government will ride to the rescue and reimburse the extra costs local authorities have had to bear?
Just be warned – when we finally come out of this’ viral raid shelter’ – things may not look the same.