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.

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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: bathcityforum@bathnes.gov.uk  by noon on Thursday, March 2nd.

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 http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/services/neighbourhoods-and-community-safety/connecting-communities/bath-city-forum  

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  mayorofbath@bathnes.gov.uk  or from web site http://www.mayorofbath.co.uk.  Nominations must be returned by 9.00am on Monday 20 March 2017.

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.

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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

Don’t block our scheme’

Don’t block our scheme’

Conservatives in Bath & North East Somerset have slammed attempts by opposition councillors to put a stop to what they describe as a much-needed improvement to Bath’s transport infrastructure.

The criticism comes following the decision of Lib Dem councillors, together with three Labour Councillors and one Green councillor, to launch a formal challenge of plans to progress Bath’s long-discussed Eastern Park & Ride by calling-in the Cabinet’s decision of a preferred Park & Ride site.

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Reacting to the call-in, Councillor Anthony Clarke (Cons, Lansdown) said:

“In all the years the Lib Dems ran the Council, they failed to take any meaningful action to improve traffic and transport in the city. So it’s a shame that, alongside Labour and Green Councillors, the Lib Dems are now trying to block any attempts to deliver much-needed improvements to Bath’s transport infrastructure.

“For too long, Bath has been let down by stop-start projects and a lack of investment in its transport infrastructure.

“That’s why, in 2014, councillors from all political parties came together and agreed upon a comprehensive Transport Strategy for Bath that included new and expanded Park & Ride provision. It’s therefore disappointing that Labour and the Lib Dems have decided to abandon working cross-party for the long-term good of the city and have instead returned to opposing much-needed investment in Bath’s transport infrastructure.

“The Lib Dems’ latest stance is particularly surprising given the significant amount of time and money they spent on the project when they were running the Council.”

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The view from Bathampton Down – after one year – if Site B is chosen.

Commenting on the need for an East of Bath Park & Ride, Councillor Tim Warren added:

“A new eastern Park & Ride is an important part of our wider plan to improve transport, tackle congestion and support the growth of our local economy.

“We have followed a robust process to assess the need and demand for an eastern Park & Ride, and looked exhaustively at all the various site options in deciding upon our preferred site. We have taken on board all the comments received, and will go to great lengths to ensure the Park & Ride is sensitive to its surroundings and screened from view.

“Bath is set to see significant economic growth in the coming years, but with these new jobs will come increased traffic unless action is taken now. Alongside other measures such as improved rail services, more cycling provision, and an A36-A46 link road, an eastern Park & Ride will play an important role in helping address Bath’s well-known transport issues. 

“It’s for these reasons the Park & Ride has received wide support from local business organisations, residents associations and transport groups.”

Background to the East of Bath Park & Ride:

The need for an East of Bath Park & Ride has been identified for over twenty years, with numerous reports, studies and consultations undertaken over this time.
(https://democracy.bathnes.gov.uk/documents/s45244/E2861%20Park%20and%20Ride%20East%20of%20Bath.pdf)

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The view from Bathampton Down – after fifteen years – if Site B is chosen.

Prior to the local elections in May 2015, the Council’s then Liberal Democrat administration actively promoted the building of a ‘rail-based’ Park & Ride on the Bathampton Meadows (Site H) – and even spent taxpayer’s money purchasing a property on the land, despite this site being judged unfeasible due to costs, engineering and its location within an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty.
(http://www.bathchronicle.co.uk/rail-plan-fears-buried/story-21321870-detail/story.html)
(http://www.bathchronicle.co.uk/park-ride-east-bath-option-city/story-21200350-detail/story.html)
(Site ‘H’ – p.31-41 http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/sites/default/files/sitedocuments/Planning-and-Building-Control/Planning-Policy/Evidence-Base/Transport/bath_eastern_pr_sites_options_2013.pdf)

In November 2014 all parties on the Council voted to approve the ‘Getting Around Bath Transport Strategy’, which included new and expanded Park & Ride provision as one of the key measures to manage traffic growth.
(https://democracy.bathnes.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=272&MId=3229&Ver=4)

In March 2016 the Council’s Communities, Transport & Environment PD&S panel held a ‘Scrutiny Inquiry Day’ to look at the issue of transport to the east of Bath, with the Cabinet accepting all except one of the panel’s six recommendations.
(https://democracy.bathnes.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=122&MId=4525&Ver=4)

A total of 21 potential sites for the Park & Ride were investigated by the Council’s cross-party Local Development Framework (LDF) Steering Group – work which formed the basis for the final officer recommendation of either Site B or F.
(https://democracy.bathnes.gov.uk/ieListDocuments.aspx?CId=122&MId=4525&Ver=4)

Evidence on the need for an East of Bath Park & Ride:

Exhaustive studies and consultant reports have been undertaken on the need and demand for an East of Bath Park & Ride – all of which conclude that a new Park & Ride would be well-used and needed to support the economic growth of the city. They also conclude that without a new Park & Ride traffic congestion in Bath will be worse in the years ahead.

11,000 new jobs are set to be created in Bath by 2035, with the number of people coming in and out of Bath set to rise from 73,000 a day to 96,000 a day by 2029.
(http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/east-of-bath-park-and-ride)

Despite being recently expanded, Bath’s three existing Park & Rides reach an average of 63% full Monday-Saturday, and are predicted to reach capacity in the years ahead as traffic continues to grow.
(https://democracy.bathnes.gov.uk/documents/s45244/E2861%20Park%20and%20Ride%20East%20of%20Bath.pdf)

A 2016 report for B&NES Council by transport consultants Mott Macdonald on the proposals for an East of Bath Park & Ride stated that:

‘It can be concluded that in the context of Bath, Park and Ride intercepts motorists, many of whom would otherwise drive into the central area in search of a parking space and adding to congestion. Hence Park and Ride reduces car kilometres travelled and the vehicle emissions associated with those journeys.’
(p.14 http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/sites/default/files/siteimages/Parking-and-Travel/east_of_bath_pr_-_response_to_alliance_report_final.pdf)

Based upon detailed modelling of future traffic movements within Bath, a further report by Mott Macdonald also concludes that, in relation to building an East of Bath Park & Ride:

‘Both DS [Do Something] scenarios are also predicted to have some significant impact in reducing traffic on London Road west, the reduction ranges between 5% and 10% across different time periods.’
(p.31 http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/sites/default/files/siteimages/Parking-and-Travel/bath_forecasting_report_a4_eastern.pdf)

And Mott also state that: ‘…reducing peak traffic by a relatively small amount will be effective in addressing congestion.’
(p.8 http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/sites/default/files/siteimages/Parking-and-Travel/east_of_bath_pr_-_response_to_alliance_report_final.pdf)

Another traffic modelling report undertaken in November 2014 by transport consultants CH2M on the measures proposed within the Getting Around Bath Transport Strategy concluded:

‘Whilst modest expansions assumed to the existing capacities at the Odd Down and Lansdown sites will clearly contribute, the largest potential for car trip abstraction will be a site to the ‘East of Bath’. In all the EA tests undertaken the potential reductions to existing traffic achievable on the A4 London Road and Bathwick Street with this proposed facility in place gives positive decongestion benefits to this part of the network. This is because the existing traffic reduction effect is likely to outweigh any increased traffic impact on this corridor due to the EA developments. The results suggest that the operation of the highway network is likely to be severely compromised if development in the EA proceeds apace, but the implementation of a new P&R site on the east site of Bath is unavoidably delayed due to continuing uncertainty over the actual location, or as a result of this not built at all.’
(Page 7.2 http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/sites/default/files/sitedocuments/Planning-and-Building-Control/Planning-Policy/Evidence-Base/Transport/bath_ea_transport_strategy_technical_report.pdf)

On the issue of ‘suppressed demand’, Mott Macdonald conclude:

‘It is acknowledged that the road capacity freed up by motorists using Park and Ride could be filled over time. However, Park and Ride functions best in combination with other measures designed to reduce the attraction of driving into the city centre to park.’
(p.12 http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/sites/default/files/siteimages/Parking-and-Travel/east_of_bath_pr_-_response_to_alliance_report_final.pdf) 

 

Antony Morrison

Political Assistant, Conservative Group

Bath and North East Somerset Council

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Demonstrators outside Bath’s Guildhall.

There has been much opposition to the proposals – including a major demo outside the Guildhall while Cabinet made its decision.

 

Buses

Buses

A message – and point of view – from Bob Draper…..

‘Come on Bathonians – Get out your angle grinders & welding torches….!

Having seen someone almost swept off their feet on the lower pavement on the north side of George St. by the front overhang of a tourist bus coming up from Queen Square  I wondered who controls these behemoths of Bath’s narrow streets? 

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One of Bath’s bright coloured tourist buses on its way down Milsom Street.

 Is it the local council or the Traffic Commissioners?

At every corner & junction these gargantuans of the tourist trade have to stop and wait for opposing traffic to clear so that they can swing out on tho opposite side of the road in order to make the corner. there is an irony in the in the winter months that the load factors are often so low a Smart car would be sufficient!

 For the sake of pedestrian safety maybe buses should fitted with some of these:

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Maybe Bath Newseum readers would like to suggest what would be a suitable size of vehicle for Bath’s clogged arteries’?

Bob Draper, Bath.

Learning to look back.

Learning to look back.

Who do you think you are? Trace your ancestors on a family history course at Bath Record Office.

Bath Record Office

Bath Record Office at the Guildhall.

There are often surprises on the BBC’s popular family history programme, Who Do You Think You Are? In the most recent series, EastEnders actor Danny Dyer discovered he had royal blood, while TV’s Amanda Holden found French ancestors in Bordeaux’s vineyards. In a previous series, actor Sir Tony Robinson even traced his roots to Bath.

Now you have a chance to find out about your own ancestors. Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Bath Record Office is running family history courses to help you, whether you are just starting out on your research or have reached a more advanced stage. 

Councillor Patrick Anketell-Jones (Conservative, Lansdown), Bath & North East Somerset Council’s Cabinet Member for Economic Development, said: “These courses are always very popular with local residents keen to trace their ancestors and find out more about the area’s history, so I’d recommend booking a place as early as possible.”

Family history for beginners

Who is the course for?

Anyone who wants to start tracing their family tree

People who have started to trace their family tree, maybe using online resources, but are unsure of the best way to proceed

What will the course cover?

Basic approaches to tracing a family tree

Basic sources: certificates of birth, marriage and death, census returns and parish registers. What they tell us, how to use them, and how to find them

General troubleshooting of particular family history problems encountered by course participants. This may take place during the group session, or in a one-to-one sessions at the end.

bath record office
Advanced family history – understanding archives
 

Who is the course for?

Anyone who has traced their family tree using basic sources such as certificates of birth, marriage and death, census returns and parish registers, and now wants to go further.

What will the course cover?

Archives in general, what they are and how they are catalogued. This is to help family historians use online archive catalogues, and to find archives that might not have online catalogues at all

Case studies showing how things that happened to individuals in the past have left a ‘paper trail’ – and how to follow this paper trail to find out more about the individual

Finally, it will briefly cover specific sources for a small number of topics. As far as possible, these topics will be focussed on the interests of the course participants, although we cannot guarantee to cover all areas of interest.

There will be an opportunity to discuss particular family history research queries either as part of the group session or in one-to-one sessions at the end of the day.

Where?

All the courses take place at the Guildhall, High Street, Bath

When?

Friday 3 March                                 Advanced course

Wednesday 15 March                     Beginners course

Wednesday 17 May                         Beginners course

Wednesday 21 June                       Advanced course

How much?

Beginners course    £20

Advanced course     £25

Lunch and mid-morning refreshments are provided and included in the price.

How can I book?

Telephone the Bath Record Office on 01225 477421 or email archives@bathnes.gov.uk 

 

Making a stand.

Making a stand.

As a cyclist who sometimes has to look around a bit to find  a vacant stand for my bike – l am not too sure l welcome the outbreak of two-wheeled advertising that is becoming apparent in Bath.

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Bike ads?

Seems they are not only promoting local business but making political points.

Clever promotion? Or a damned nuisance if the stands are full up?

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A campaign cycle?

What do you think?