Last Wednesday I met with the Government’s Treasury department in London to discuss devolution and our ambitions for the area. Working with our neighbouring councils, we have put together proposals that could generate an extra £2bn per annum for the regional economy. I’ll be meeting with another Government Minister on Thursday to discuss these plans further.
I thoroughly enjoyed judging the Bath Bridge Top Trumps competition last Thursday. The children’s designs were very impressive and I think we might have found some great bridge designers and engineers of the future. Congratulations to the winners, who received their prizes at The Guildhall on Monday night, at the same time the winner of the Bath Quays Bridge was revealed. Congratulations to Marc Mimram Architects and Engineers on their very impressive bridge design. Bath Quays Bridge is an essential component of our plans to create a new business district linking the river from Green Park Road on the north side to the Newark Works buildings on the south.
We had a long and very late Council meeting on Thursday night. Thank you to all the speakers who took time to come along and put forward their views about plans for a Park and Ride to the east of Bath. Councillors have committed to work together on options as part of a series of measures designed to alleviate congestion in the city. The cross-party Local Development Framework Steering Group will review and assess a number of sites and present their recommendations to the Council’s Communities, Transport and Environment PDS Panel and the Cabinet. This will help us come to a decision early next year.
On Friday my wife and I flew to Paris for a few days holiday. We planned to stay one night in the city then to travel to Toulon for the Bath Rugby game on Saturday. We heard a lot of sirens when we were out at a restaurant – but we had no idea what was going on until we got back to our hotel. I don’t need to explain what happened in Paris on Friday night, but I would like to extend my sympathies to all the victims’ families and friends.
The next morning we got the train down to Toulon; there were armed soldiers and police everywhere. It was good to see some fellow Bath fans when we arrived there but of course the game was cancelled. What happened in Paris certainly puts everything into perspective, and we were very glad to get back home on Monday night.
I’m afraid I didn’t make it to Midsomer Norton Carnival that evening but I was glad to hear it went very well, but I am looking forward to going along to the Holburne Lantern Procession on Thursday night. This will be a great community event, with hundreds of children lighting up our city, as well as the switching on of the Christmas Lights.
On Monday night, November 23, I will be attending a special meeting of the Chew Valley Area Forum at Chew Valley Secondary School. The meeting will include a budget fair when members of the public can come along to hear about the Council’s financial plans for the next four years, ask questions and participate in discussions on the budget proposals. There will also be presentation about the West of England Joint Spatial Plan and Transport Study and an opportunity ask questions. Details of other budget fairs across the area can be found here