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Monday, 28 December 2015

Issues going into 2016

Pollution remains a major concern and once the saga of the Eastern Park and Ride is finally resolved we need to continue to move forward to improve the air quality of the city centre. We believe the council need as a matter of priority to look at:

- The feasibility of creating a low emission zone to speed up the upgrading of commercial vehicle fleets using the city centre

- Reducing the number of vehicles circling the city looking for parking spaces by providing more  off-street parking and improving the signage

- Creating a properly researched year round coach management strategy

- The creation of a by-pass

CCTV is an increasingly important part of the effective management of crime and antisocial behaviour and we are working with the council to create a process for reviewing the way the CCTV deployment strategy is managed, developed and financed.

We continue to monitor and comment on the emerging Regional Planning and Transport Strategies and in particular:

- The need for the region's broadband delivery infrastructure to be included in the transport strategy

- The need to include the protection of historic buildings in the spatial plan.

- The need to consider community stability in both plans to ensure that unique communities such as that of Bath City Centre are not damaged.

- The need to reflect the importance of tourism to the region.

- Pollution priorities should be revised in the light of research showing that diesel particulates are the most dangerous pollutants where human health is concerned.

- The debate about affordable housing needs to be much clearer about the relative importance of rental against owner occupation.

- The plan needs to reflect the increased forecasts for numbers of students and have a clearer view about how these increased numbers will be accommodated.

- The need to acknowledge the fact that the growth in knowledge-based digital industries which has become central to the economic success of the region is fundamentally dependent on the quality of life that the region creates for residents.

We are concerned about the management of the street scape and in particular:

- The management of cycling and cyclist in the city centre

- The control of A Boards

- What is going to replace the public realm and movement strategy and address the issues it was set up to tackle.

Event management and public consultation prior to events need to be improved.

We have been lobbying our MP about the obvious weaknesses in licencing law particularly those highlight by the sorry history of OPA.

The policing of the city centre in the light of police reforms is something we are continually monitoring. We are also campaigning to get better police consultation and crime reporting procedures.