I live on the A46 side of Bath so don’t know too much about life on the other side of our World Heritage city – and that is a story in itself.
The UNESCO status comes from our wealth of Georgian architecture, hot springs and Roman remains – but our industrial history is also something to be celebrated and that’s where Twiverton on Avon or – to give it its current name – Twerton comes in.
A Saxon settlement that grew up on the banks of the River Avon and used its waters to mill corn and later fulling cloth.
© Bath in Time
These days – now absorbed as a city suburb – it’s also known as the home of Bath City Football Club.
While l think of it, it’s also believed that back in the 18th century Henry Fielding wrote most of his famous novel Tom Jones while living in Twerton – though his house was demolished during road improvements.
A vibrant history – but not so colourful present – according to creative artist Diana Ahmed who wrote to Bath MP, Wera Hobhouse asking her to’ help these citizens of the city who pay their taxes – and are a hard working community – to experience some of the daily life enjoyed by those living in BA1.’
Wera advised working with Tim Ball and Sarah Moore – the local Lib-Dem councillors – with any ideas she might have – and Diana has plenty!
In her letter to the MP Diana said she thought the people of Twerton were being let down – and l asked her how exactly?
Actually, Twerton is in the news for another reason today – but it IS connected to the Diana Ahmed story in the bigger picture of things.
Local councillors Sarah Moore and Tim Ball have written to tell me:
“Following numerous complaints from local residents we are pleased to confirm that we’ve managed to get agreement from both Bath & North East Somerset Council and the Police to make Twerton High Street a family friendly environment, with the implementation of a Public Spaces Protection Order.
This means that it is an offence to drink alcohol publicly in the area and if caught may be issue with a Fixed Penalty Notice.”
Councillor Tim Ball was able to arrange for appropriate signs to be supplied and he – together with Sarah Moore – went out and erected the signs themselves in Twerton High Street, which means this order is now legally enforceable and anyone caught in contravention of this order can now be dealt with accordingly.
Councillor Tim Ball said “I was pleased to be able to arrange for these signs and it is yet another step towards the Liberal Democrats helping to return Twerton to a family friendly community again.”
Both councillors are also aware of Diana’s concerns about the High Street and have given me the following statement.
“Twerton Parade is actually managed by Curo and all the shops in that section are occupied.
The other main shopping area was owned by Greenacre Twerton, the revamp of this area did form part of a large planning application from them which was refused.
This application included a very large number of student rooms which were extremely small. Since then the development company has gone into administration leaving the football club searching for a new partner.
Both Tim and I are in discussions with both the Football Club and other potential development partners for this area. We are awaiting the Love Your High Street funding due around June, to make some changes to brighten up the area.
Last year over £80k was spent in Innox Park and we have secured over £70k for use in Rosewarn Park.
We have already had a number of roads across the ward resurfaced and are working on more. We are also about to launch a ward wide survey to see what people would like to see through the love your streets options.
We are in regular discussions with Curo about how we can work together to improve our area.
There is a long awaited safer crossing point being put on Poolemead Road near the Infant school going in very soon.
We have asked for trees to be planted along some of the grass verges around Twerton to bring more colour and wildlife back.”
Cllr Moore told me that there is a Twerton residents group but “although we have almost 1000 members on the facebook group we struggle to get more than 6 people to the meetings (when we had them pre lockdown).
It is not a formal residents association as no one wanted to commit to running it or be a treasurer or pay FOBRA to join.”
It’s good to make historic Twerton a talking point today. Anyone who wants to contact Diana Ahmed, about her creative plans, can contact me and l will pass on your details.
Maybe other local residents will have a point of view on this too.