This week, we set out three options for a clean air zone for the centre of the city to make a real difference to health and the quality of the air. Residents and cyclists tell me that on some days they can almost taste the fumes in the air caused mainly by older vehicles. So we are aware that we have to make some fundamental changes. The Government has funded the research and data gathering to date and will fund the delivery of the final scheme chosen, whatever that ends up being.
Over the next few months we’re going to look at each option in more detail, seeking views on each one and how they could best be introduced in order to maximise the air quality benefits, while minimising any effects on residents and economy. We’ll also be identifying possible exemptions, levels of charges and hours of operation. So please let us have your thoughts. Lots of the latest information is on our website www.bathnes.gov.uk/breathe
This week, I met with colleagues to work on a regional strategy for the west of England. This will enable us to gain more Government funding to enable the area to become more productive and more influential both nationally and internationally. I believe that the more successful the region is, the more opportunities there are available. We must work hard to make sure everyone has a decent opportunity in life.
I have also met with Bristol airport where they explained their ideas for expansion of the airport. The airport is a key part of ensuring that we retain our worldwide connectivity so it’s important to be involved and understand their thinking. Whilst I believe that most of us appreciate the local service, we must make sure that expansion does not negatively impact the surrounding villages, towns etc. There will continue to be consultation events.
I hope some of you will take the opportunity to pop along to the Council’s Affordable Homes Fair at the Keynsham Community Space on April 12 between 2pm and 7pm, to find out more about the different affordable home ownership options available in our area. We appreciate how hard it can be to buy a home so we’re working hard to deliver affordable housing options for households who don’t necessarily need a social rented home but can’t afford to buy on the open market. You can find out more here: http://www.bathnes.gov.uk/latestnews/unlocking-opportunities-affordable-homes-0
I’ll be cheering on Bath tomorrow when they beat (he says with crossed fingers) Leicester at Twickenham. I’m sure they’ll put last week’s disappointment of losing to Exeter behind them and give the crowd something to shout about. Eternally optimistic!!!