Thursday, 28 August 2014

An even stronger voice for residents

If you are not yet a member of TARA we invite you to become a member

The more members we have the more influence we will be able to bring to bear to win improvements for the residents of Bath city centre.

The more members, the more effective we will be at getting city centre resident's concerns heard where and when it matters.

Membership cost £3 a year for individual households

To pay by cheque or standing order download and print off the membership application form

For more information go to our web site

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

An Elected Mayor

In the light of several potentially misleading headlines in the Chronicle we think it is important that members are clear that what is being proposed is not an elected mayor for the City of Bath but an elected mayor for Bath and Northeast Somerset.

Bath City Governance

We have been reading the interim report of the working group set up by BANES to consider community representation and civic governance within Bath. Their report can be seen at

Our overall reaction is one of disappointment about how little determination or imagination  the working group appears  to have shown in addressing their brief. Their output is merely a restatement of the existing ideas promulgated at previous meetings. Have they explored and rejected other options or have they merely recycled their brief?

None of the proposals goes very far in addressing the democratic deficit in Bath. We note that none of the options as presented is fully costed only indicative figures being provided.

The creation of parish councils that will have little power and then only in local areas of Bath, will do little to address the systemic problems of the city and will, we understand, cost council tax payers a lot of money to create and maintain as well as adding extra levels of bureaucracy.

The committee idea has the virtue of probably being cheaper but would have little actual power. It seems unlikely that any serious residents’ groups would join it as it would give them very little power in the decision-making process but would ensure they shared more than their fair share of the blame.

This leaves us with the status quo which while unsatisfactory appears to be better than the other options on offer.

If the BANES is really serious about addressing this issue, and this is not just a PR initiative, we would urge that they take more time to analysis the costs and benefits of various proposals. We would also urge that they look at researching more options with more imagination and determination than they have shown to date.