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Wednesday, 22 October 2014

First use of community trigger in BANES

Earlier this week Bath City Centre Action Group, comprising TARA, CARA and PERA demanded action from the Police, Council and Curo Housing over so-called ‘Party Houses’. Party Houses are notorious properties rented out for just two or three days to groups of people, usually celebrating a stag or hen night, and form a constant cause of misery to people living near them.

To ensure they get results the City Centre Action Group have made full use of new legal powers, that came into force on the 20th October, and pulled 'the community trigger'. The new community trigger requires all responsible bodies to work together to resolve frequently repeated anti-social behaviour problems.

It is not just the noise from uproarious drinking sessions day and night at these Party Houses, but children have witnessed lewd actions and nudity. The Community Trigger is a significant new power within the Antisocial Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014. It allows people to insist action is taken over repeated antisocial behaviour problems

A handful of landlords actively encourage wild 24 hour parties and local people suffer loss of sleep and emotional upset as a result of noise, unattractive behaviour and foul language. We welcome the new powers to tackle these problems and specifically request the authorities use their new closure powers to curb irresponsible landlords.

In addition to making more use of closure orders, we have also called upon Licensing to use its powers under the Housing Act 2004 to create special licensing to control party houses in future. We need to protect the rights of all local residents to live a normal family life

Monday, 13 October 2014

Action on Air Quality

Air pollution is a considerable concern for the members of TARA and we have devoted much time to researching the issue and lobbying responsible authorities, including BANE, the Environment Agency,  the European Commission and the European Parliament, to take action.

We have been very disappointed by the response we have had from BANES and the lack of action by successive administrations to address the problem or even take it very seriously.

The following summary table, published by Camden council, shows why this issue needs to be taken seriously and needs to be addressed with urgency.

Health effects and sources of air pollutants
Pollutant
Sources
Health effects
Nitrogen dioxide
Road transport (especially diesel vehicles), domestic boilers, power stations and industry
Lung irritation and damage
Sulphur dioxide
Power stations, domestic boilers, industry
Coughing, irritation and narrowing of airways. Can make asthma and bronchitis worse
Carbon monoxide
Petrol vehicles, domestic boilers, industry
Deprives the blood of oxygen and can cause headaches, dizziness, nausea. Can lead to death at very high levels
Fine Particulates (PM10 and PM2.5)
Road transport (mainly diesel vehicles and tyre and break wears), power stations, domestic boilers
Increased chances of respiratory disease, lung damage, cancer and premature death
Ozone
Produced when sunlight reacts with vehicle exhaust fumes
Irritation to eyes, nose and throat. Can damage lungs and airways
Benzene
Petrol vehicles
Long term exposure can increase risk of cancer
Lead
Petrol vehicles, industry
Learning disabilities and brain and kidney damage
Air pollution can also damage trees, plants and buildings and contribute to climate change.