Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Questions prepared for a meeting with the Chief Constable Nick Gargan and Police and Crime Commissioner Sue Mountstevens

Question 1

What are you proposing to do to improve the liaison with other agencies to rationalise and improve enforcement processes?


Viewed from a resident’s perspective there is an ever growing body of regulation which is either enforce inadequately of not enforced at all. Examples range from pavement parking and vehicles using roads from which they are banned to serving drunks and the enforcement of licencing conditions.

There appear to be two underlying causes of this:

Firstly the creation of regulation with no discussion of how enforcement will be resourced, this is a particular issue for the police as policy and regulations tend to assume police enforcement by default.

Secondly there is often a lack of clarity about enforcement strategy between agencies particularly in the licencing enforcement.

Question 2

What is your position on how CCTV should be developed in the City and what are you doing to ensure it develops in that way?


CCTV is playing an increasingly important role in the policing of the City centre particularly at night.

As residents we are concerned that there is continued investment in the network and in particular key gaps in the provision are addressed.

Tuesday, 20 August 2013

The Porter Licensing Application

We broadly welcome the premises being proposed here as a replacement for what was one of the principle sources of noise and drink fuel antisocial behaviour on George Street. In doing so we rely heavily on the promises made by the applicant's company, both in private meetings and in public announcements, that the new premises will be not be a vertical drinking establishment but be much more broadly based with an emphasis on food.

There are however three areas which we would like raise with the Licensing Authority with a view to altering the proposed conditions.

Firstly if there is going to be amplified music we would like to see a condition requiring the use of noise limiters set at a level agreed by Environmental Protection. These premises are in close proximity to a number of residential premises and noise leakage from amplified music has been a significant problem in the past including during the tenure of the applicant's company. It is perhaps worth pointing out that neighbouring premises have a similar condition.

Similarly most premises in the area have a condition requiring them to clear litter from their immediate vicinity. Smokers outside this type of premises will inevitable create considerable litter nuisance and it seems reasonable that the applicants should clear up any mess caused by their operation.

Finally, we would ask the committee to give careful consideration to the hours of operation. The noise affected area around these premises in Gay Street, George Street, Miles buildings and parts of the Circus are heavily residential. It is not clear to us what the applicant’s case is for the extremely late opening hours he is proposing. We hope that the Licensing Authority will undertake appropriate enquiries to ensure that the hours set are both necessary and proportional.

Tuesday, 6 August 2013

City Governance

Unlike most other cities, Bath does not have its own city council or even have a network of parish councils to discuss local issues.

There are a very small number of BANEs Councillors who are elected to represent the City.

The rest of BANEs is of a very different character to the City and has very different issues and priorities.
Bath is the economic power house of BANEs and this combined with the assets transferred on the creation of BANEs supports and subsidises other parts of the region.

We therefore welcome a discussion of these issues as proposed by the BANES Conservative Councillors.

However, unless central government embark on a re-organisation of local government in the region creating a Bath based authority with real power it is unlikely that any of the proposed local fixes would offer anywhere near the control of Bath by its resident’s that would deliver meaningful change.

Most of these local fixes envision the creation of local forums or authorities which would have little effective power beyond some moral authority but which would all come with very real costs which would have to be borne by local tax payers.

We wold argue that if local Councillors really what to address these issues they should first look to their own policy processes and budgeting strategy’s and accord Bath the priority its economic and cultural status deserves.