Thursday, 31 December 2009

Night Patrol

On Saturday December 19th Between 01.30 and 02.30 we carried out one of our regular patrols of city centre streets. The weather was damp and chilly, no wind. The focus was on night clubs: Moles, Blue Rooms, Back to Mine, Club XL, Opium, the Weir, OPA, Po Na Na, Qube and Second Bridge. We also visited the Huntsman, Bog Island, where it appeared that the problem of excessive noise from inside the pub had been dealt with.

Crowds on the street, drunkenness and noise levels appeared to be about average. There were no exceptional ‘incidents’ to report. With the exception of door staff security observed by us consisted of one street marshal (City Marshal) patrol, one mobile police patrol and one Street Pastor patrol. We saw no police on foot. Door staff, though usually present, were scarcely visible and in general were making no effort to control noise at the door. Only the OPA doorman had on a high visibility jacket. Back to Mine appeared to be in breach of licence conditions as their doorman was not wearing a reflective jacket.

As usual the main problem, which varied in severity from club to club, was the noisy crowds of arriving and departing customers and smokers at club entrances and the noise of music which blarred into the street as entrance doors were constantly opened and closed. We will continue to insist that door staff are an essential element in enhancing the safety and security of our streets at night and should look and behave as if this was the case. In particular, all security staff on our streets should wear high visibility jackets of the kind that have proved so successful in other cities such as Norwich.

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Thursday, 24 December 2009

TARA's Response to the BANES Core Strategy - Key Points

• We would like to see recognition of the fact that part of the special nature of Bath derives from the number of people choosing to live in the historic centre of the city.
• We would like to see more emphasis on the importance of walking and pedestrian access in the city.
• The importance of independent retailers in the making the Bath retail offer distinctive needs to be highlighted
• We would like to see air quality as a separate health issue not just an add on to the traffic problem
• We would like to see acknowledgement of the problem created by the imbalance in the evening economy with the dominance of vertical drinking establishment over other forms of premises tending to exclude families and causing nuisance for residents and law enforcement
• The question of student accommodation is rather oddly presented as an objective. This is at least as much an issue for the development of the campuses and their adjoining communities as it is for central Bath.
• We would have concern over any strategy which emphasised the need for identifiable commercial office units in the centre of Bath over other requirements such as cultural and tourism facilities

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Cleanliness Issues in Bath City Centre

Things we still see too often

1. Black bags tearing open
2. Bottles and glasses whole and broken
3. Chewing gum on pavements
4. Cigarette smokers from shops and other business premises using other peoples doorways to smoke in
5. Coffee cups and other takeaway food litter
6. Confusions about rubbish collection days leading to bags and boxes being on the street for several days and acting as a magnet for litter
7. Fly Tipping
8. General littering
9. Gulls tearing black bags
10. Litter dropped by people hanging about outside clubs and bars to smoke, talk and get fresh air
11. Litter dropped by people queuing to get into clubs and bars
12. Litter thrown in doorways and alcoves in the property line that are not cleaned by the street cleaners
13. People using the Charity Shops as a cover for fly tipping
14. Smokers stubbing cigarettes out on walls
15. Spitting on pavements
16. Street drinkers rifling through black bags and charity shop “donations”
17. The street cleaning schedule being out of step with peak littering/bleeding/vomiting times
18. Trade waste left overnight or poorly collected
18. Urine everywhere
19. Vomit on in alcoves, doorways and walls not tackled by street cleaning services
20. Vomit on pavements

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Wednesday, 9 December 2009

TARA comments on the Cork planning application

The garden area of these premises on the James Street West side has, since mid June this year been the source of a major noise nuisance to local residents.

There is seating provision for a very large number of people and in addition large numbers of people can and do stand.

Local residents have made numerous formal complaints to Environmental Health. We understand that in late August the Cork was served with a Noise Abatement Order. Residents report that they have done little to comply with this.

Residents have reported that the noise from these premises in the summer months routinely disturbs their sleep and make their lives a misery.

Nearby residents include elderly people and people with significant health problems.

The creation of an outdoor drinking area on this scale in this area is wholly inappropriate.

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Friday, 4 December 2009

TARA comments on the Olive Branch development

Local residents on Milsom Street, George Street and Gay Street already suffer considerable noise nuisance and other forms of public nuisance from licensed premises in the front of their buildings.

Up to now the noise nuisance at the rear of these buildings has been minimal. These proposed new premises threaten this and the quiet enjoyment of their premises of the more immediate neighbours

The premises lie at the focus of an amphitheatre formed by the backs of the buildings in Old King Street, Gay Street, George Street and Milsom Street which makes this location a particularly sensitive one when considering the potential noise nuisance

Of particular concern is the owners intention to create a roof garden. A sizable crowd of people socialising, eating and drinking at this level in an open area will inevitably create a significant noise and it is not clear how they will manage noise generated here to avoid causing significant disturbance to neighbours

Outdoor areas in licence premises are a frequent source of nuisance and complaint.

In a noise sensitive area like this we believe such an outdoor area at roof level, which in the case of many residents will mean the level of their bedroom windows, should not be allowed.

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