Friday, 30 March 2012

A Boards

From Monday 2 April anyone in Bath wishing to place an A-board on public land will need to make sure that they comply with the following rules:
  • Only one board per property frontage.
  • Placed against the frontage or property boundary.
  • A minimum of 1.5m width of footway left for pedestrian to use.
  • It must be no bigger than 660mm wide and 1250mm high.
  • It must be freestanding and not chained or tied to street furniture.
  • It must be stable and not weighed down by sandbags.
  • It must not have any sharp edges
  • Swinging and rotating boards are prohibited.
  • It must not carry and offensive or political message.
  • It must not obstruct visibility at junctions.
  • It must not be put out before 9 am

If you see boards in Bath that do not comply with these rules tell the council and/or tell us.

Monday, 12 March 2012

Parking in the Central Zone

Statistics are quite hard to come by where Bath parking is concerned. The data we do have shows 952 parking spaces and 1167 resident vehicle permits issued in the Central Zone (2006 figures from Parking Services). These numbers predate the loss of parking spaces to the car club and new cycle racks.

The current draft parking strategy paper has 936 spaces in the Central zone (2009 survey data) but has no data on residents permits.

The BANES  2011 parking strategy paper shows a gross disparity between the Central Zone and the Outer Zones, with about 40% occupancy in the Outer zones and up to 100% in the Central Zone.  The Council seems content with a situation where the Central Zone has to carry almost the entire burden of on street visitor parking, which seems to us inequitable when many of the Outer Zones are very close to the centre.

The planning approval given to new hotels with no parking of their own will make things a great deal more difficult for residents, especially in the area covered by TARA.

BANES do not even mention residents in the parking section of the Core Strategy despite representations from residents associations during the consultation phases.

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Early morning alcohol restriction orders

The Crime and Security Act 2010 has received Royal Assent, but is not yet in force.

Once implemented, the Act will introduce a new power for licensing authorities, including BANES, to restrict sales of alcohol between 3am and 6am.

The Crime and Security Act 2010 amends the Licensing Act 2003 by inserting new sections 172A to 172E, which are summarised below:

s172 A gives the licensing authority the power to make an early morning alcohol restriction order.

The effect of the order is to suspend any authorisation of the sale of alcohol between 3am and 6am. This includes premises licences, club premises certificates and Temporary Event Notices (TENs).

An order may apply –
  • ·        every day or only on particular days
  • ·        in relation to the whole or part of a licensing authority’s area, or
  • ·        for a limited or unlimited period.

The order must specify the days in relation to which it is to apply, the area in relation to which it is to apply, and if it is to apply for a limited period, that period. The order must also specify the date from which it is to apply.

s172B sets out the procedural requirements, which include advertising the proposed order, holding a hearing to consider relevant representations.

s172C prohibits a licensing authority from making an order in relation to an area or day not specified in the proposed order advertised, and requires the authority to publish the order in a prescribed form and manner and within the prescribed period. 

Neighbourhood Plans

The Localism Act received Royal Assent in November 2011 and comes into effect on 1st April this year.  Amongst many other things, it creates a framework for neighbourhood planning.  

There is no requirement for all neighbourhoods to have a plan, and there are formal steps including a referendum and tests to ensure compliance with national planning guidelines and BANES plans required to create one.  But once formally adopted a Neighbourhood Plan will carry the same weight in decision making as plans prepared by the local authority.   In areas with Parish or Town Councils, these will be the only bodies able to prepare such plans.   Within Bath, which does not have that layer of administration, preparation of plans can be only be undertaken by a new entity created by the Act “Neighbourhood Forums”.  No decision has yet been reached on which areas might have Forums or how these would function.   

The Federation of Bath Residents’ Associations (FoBRA) has a sub-committee constructively engaging with BANES on such issues such as safeguards against hijacking by commercial or other vested interest groups and ensuring transparent, inclusive involvement.   TARA is represented on that sub-committee.   BANES cabinet is scheduled to consider a report on the Act from council officers on 14th March.  The FoBRA sub-committee is registering to address that meeting and will be responding to a subsequent consultation paper expected to be issued by the Council in April/May with a view to firm decisions in July.  

Friday, 9 March 2012

Abbey Street-level crime and ASB in January 2012

All reported crime and ASB 447

  • Burglary 14
  • Anti-social behaviour 175
  • Robbery 2
  • Vehicle crime 28
  • Violent crime 59
  • Public Disorder and Weapons 5
  • Shoplifting 65
  • Criminal damage and Arson 31
  • Other Theft 39
  • Drugs 15
  • Other crime 14